Ryanair pilots based in Belgium have warned over a new strike, scheduled for September 14 and 15, due to the airline refusing to discuss their demands. This would be the fourth strike in two months for the same demands.
According to Aviation 24, this strike, like the previous one, will only affect Brussels South Charleroi Airport while the Brussels Airport in Zaventem, a municipality in Belgium, is served only by foreign-based Ryanair aircraft.
September 14 is a symbolic date as it marks the day of the Annual General Meeting of Ryanair shareholders in Dublin, where the airlines’ headquarters are located. Pilots expect the AGM to examine social aspects as well during this meeting.
B eCA (Belgian Cockpit Association) represents pilots while the CNE and ACV Pulse unions say that Ryanair has not considered their demands, which include reinstating the 20 per cent salary cut that they accepted due to the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, these unions ask for a smaller workload as Ryanair wants to reduce the number of days off that workers have.
The pilots have also emphasised that they would like for the Minister of Justice to be more involved in protecting them against the airline not abiding by the rule of law.
The previous strike from Belgian Ryanair pilots happened in mid-August and caused around 25 per cent of the flights to be cancelled.
During the strikes of July 15-16, over 80 per cent of Ryanair’s pilots attended the protest, resulting in the cancellation of 120 flights at Charleroi Airport. At the same time, the next set of strikes that occurred on July 29-30 led to the cancellation of nearly 100 flights.
These strikes notably impacted flights to several countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Italy, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden.
In order to address the eventual disruptions caused by the strikes, Brussels Charleroi Airport has informed passengers who are scheduled to travel on dates when strikes are announced, to check their flight status before travelling. The airport has established a system where passengers will receive notifications through text or email within 48 hours of their departure if their flight is cancelled.
By purchasing travel insurance, travellers to Europe prevent potential inconveniences such as medical emergencies or cancelled flights.