Brussels Airlines, a Lufthansa subsidiary and Belgium’s largest airline, announced the cancellation of all flights for Wednesday, February 13. The decision announced on Friday comes as the country braces for a nationwide general strike called by unions.
In a statement the airline said: “Based on additional information recently received about the likely scale of the national strike on February 13th, Brussels Airlines now considers it very probable that operations at Brussels Airport will be severely impacted due to industrial action of various airport stakeholders. It has therefore decided to cancel the remaining 72 flights originally planned that same day and herewith cancels its entire program of 222 flights. The travel plans of more than 16,000 passengers are impacted”.
With the proactive cancellation of its flight program of February 13th, Brussels Airlines offers its guests the possibility to adapt their travel plans in advance and herewith minimizes the level of disruption and discomfort generated by the national strike as much as possible.
Due to the national strike in Belgium on 13 FEB, we expect major disruptions in our flight program. All info >> https://t.co/6PnldKaPmv
— Brussels Airlines (@FlyingBrussels) February 7, 2019
The airline is offering alternative travel solutions and passengers with a cancelled flight who don’t wish to travel anymore can request a full refund of their ticket, which can be requested on their website. The airline has published a list of all cancelled flights.
Brussels Airlines apologizes for the inconveniences caused by external factors entirely beyond its control.
Other carriers have also begun to cancel or redirect flights.
The strike is set to take place next Wednesday, February 13, officially running from 10 p.m. the night before to 10 p.m. the night of February 13 (all times local).
Due to the general strike planned by the Belgian unions for 13/02, we expect operations at #brusselsairport to be seriously disrupted, leading to flight cancellations, heavy delays, diverted flights and problems with baggage delivery. More information >> https://t.co/4ewJFY9vYs pic.twitter.com/A8eEskXSFG
— Brussels Airport (@BrusselsAirport) February 7, 2019
Reports are suggesting that there may be demonstrations in Brussels’ city centre. Traffic jams will likely delay trips throughout the city, and travelling to the airport could take hours. Brussels Airport has announced that transport services throughout the country will be effected and airport operations will be “seriously disrupted”.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has implored union representatives to return to the negotiating table to find a solution with government and employer representatives.