This weekend, a total of 102 Ryanair flights will be cancelled at Brussels South Charleroi Airport in Belgium due to strikes. Ryanair pilots are taking industrial action over the weekend of July 15 and 16 as they demand higher wages and better working conditions.
On Saturday, 54 flights to and from Charleroi airport will be cancelled, and on Sunday, 48 return flights are scheduled to be cancelled.
Charleroi airport is asking passengers whose flights have been cancelled not to turn up to catch their flights.
It is important to note no flights will be cancelled at Brussels Airport, where the low-cost carrier no longer has a base. The few routes operated by Ryanair that pass through the airport do not employ pilots based in Belgium and will therefore not be affected by the strike.
The strike is called by two trade unions, CNE and ACV Puls, along with the pilots’ union Beca. The decision follows Ryanair’s alleged intention to cancel an agreement on working hours and rest for its pilots in Belgium.
Since the onset of the pandemic pilots’ salaries were reduced by 20 per cent during the Coronavirus pandemic and have remained at the same level ever since.
Recent negotiations with the airline’s management have not led to an outcome, and therefore 80 per cent of pilots will join the industrial action this weekend.
Unions have expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to passengers: “We apologise in advance to passengers planning to travel with Ryanair between now and October 2024 who may be affected by these strikes. But we can no longer allow Ryanair to violate the basic principles of Belgian social dialogue.”
Passengers are advised to stay updated with the latest information and flight schedules on the Ryanair website and the airport authorities.
Meanwhile, Ryanair has assured that 60 per cent of its flights to and from Belgium will operate normally.
In a statement, Ryanair said: “While over 60 per cent of Ryanair flights to/from Belgium will operate as scheduled on Sat 15/Sun 16 July, we have regrettably been forced to cancel a small number of flights to/from Charleroi due to a strike by a small number of Belgium-based pilots.”
It added: “All affected customers have been notified and advised of their options to transfer their flights to Thurs/Fri or Mon/Tues or receive a full refund if they wish to cancel their travel plans. Ryanair regrets any inconvenience caused to a small number of our Belgian passengers on Sat/Sun by this unnecessary pilot strike.
“Ryanair’s Belgian pilots and their union have been offered a similar pay increase to that recently agreed with pilot unions in other European countries. These unnecessary strikes will only cost our Belgian pilots lost pay when there is already a generous pay increase available to them and their union.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.
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