Brussels Airlines is set to be impacted by three days of strikes later this week, after the carrier was unable to reach an agreement with cockpit and cabin employees.
The industrial action will take place on June 23, 24 and 25, and follows national strikes taking place across Belgium today (June 20).
Brussels Airlines said that a total of 525 flights are planned over the strike period, and warned that “We do not yet know how many of those will be cancelled as this depends on the participation rate of our crews in the strike action”.
The carrier said that it had taken a series of measures in recent weeks to relieve pressure on workers, including taking 148 flights out of the schedules, recruiting 225 cabin crew members and adapting flight duties “as a response to the requests from our staff about the heavy workload”.
But it said that its current financial situation would not allow it to reverse or reopen collective labour agreements signed in 2020 to guarantee the company’s future following the onset of Covid-19.
“We have succeeded fairly well in fulfilling our staffing needs, customers are eager to fly with us again to their holiday destinations after two years of isolation, booking numbers are rising at high speed,… all good reasons to be optimistic for our future,” the carrier said.
“After our turnaround program Reboot Plus and two years of fighting the worst crisis in our history, we are now scrambling to keep up with the fast recovery of our industry. Recovery, in the sense that demand is coming back at an unseen speed for the summer, but not a recovery of the heavy losses we have suffered.
“In aviation it is imperative that we take the opportunity of the summer months to make a profit. Furthermore, we are battling significantly increased costs, mainly but not only, due to the fuel price.
“A three-day strike will have a very large impact on our company’s bottom line and would force us to review the growth we had planned.”
Brussels Airlines said it would inform all passengers set to travel between June 23-25 about the status of their flight – including, if needed, alternative travel options – and urged customers “not call our service centres at this moment as they can’t provide any further information yet”.