21.06.2022 (11.00am) - Update 1 - Strike
As announced previously, we are informing all passengers travelling on 23rd, 24th and 25th June of the status of their flight and alternative travel options.
We sincerely regret the impact of these social actions on our customers, at the start of the Summer holidays. On these three days, 533 flights (charters included) were originally scheduled for almost 70,000 passengers.
As our priority is to provide our customers with clarity about their travel plans as early as possible, we started cancelling a first part of our flight programme already on Sunday 19th June.
We currently have an intermediate view of the impact of the social action and the willingness to work of our pilots and cabin crew. As a result, we plan to keep around 40% of the original flight programme. The cancellations represent around 315 flights of which 38 long-hauls, and impact almost 40,000 passengers.
We are looking for as many solutions as possible for our customers to rebook them on other flights, within Lufthansa Group and outside. An example of an alternative we offer within Brussels Airlines is that we will operate 3 long-haul aircraft (A330) to cover the need of 4 Nice flights and 6 Rome flights. With this measure we optimally use the available crew.
Our objective is to have all impacted customers informed by Tuesday 21st June at the end of the day. We continue to closely monitor the situation and stay in contact with the impacted passengers.
The management of Brussels Airlines remains open to discussions with the trade unions.
16.06.2022 - Reaction to the notice of strike
Towards and about our passengers:
“Our first priority right now are our passengers. We sincerely regret the impact these actions have on our customers. At the moment we do not yet know how many flights will be impacted by the social action and how many will be operated as planned. We are doing everything possible to revise our flights schedule as soon as we have a view on the participation rate of our crews in the strike actions. We will inform all passengers travelling on 23, 24 and 25 June about the status of their flight and if needed, alternative travel options. We ask our passengers for their patience and to not call our service centres at this moment as they can’t provide any further information yet. Passengers can check on our website if their contact details are included in their booking (Manage My Booking) and add them if not yet done. Passengers who have booked via a tour operator or (online) travel agency need to contact their respective agency.”
About the social discussions:
“We regret that the talks with our social partners have not led to an agreement for our cockpit and cabin crew departments.
In the past weeks and months we have taken a series of initiatives to relieve the work pressure for our operational departments in this exceptional summer. Amongst others, we have taken out 148 flights to ease the operations. We recruited 225 additional cabin crew members and we have adapted flight duties as a response to the requests from our staff about the heavy workload.
As we were loss making in 2020, in 2021 and still as well in Quarter 1, 2022, our financial situation does not allow us to reverse or reopen the current CLAs, which were signed as part of our agreement with the Belgian Government by all our social partners in 2020 to guarantee a future for our company.
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. 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.”
Additional info for press:
At this time 525 flights are planned for 23, 24 and 25 June. 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. We will keep you posted on further developments.
Both statements can be quoted in name of Maaike Andries, Spokesperson for Brussels Airlines.