Belgium strikes: Ryanair pilots announce further walkout in August

Ryanair pilots in Belgium are striking over pay and working conditions.
Ryanair pilots in Belgium are striking over pay and working conditions. Copyright Canva
By Angela Symons
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Ryanair pilots in Belgium are walking out next week over pay and working conditions.

Belgium-based Ryanair pilots will strike once again on 14 and 15 August.


A two-day walk out at Brussels South Charleroi Airport at the end of July caused the cancellation of nearly 100 flights. 

The industrial action began on 15-16 July when two trade unions - CNE and ACV Puls - and the pilots' union Beca walked out over pay and working conditions.

The airport is located 45 minutes south of the Belgian capital.

Ryanair has cancelled 44 of its 170 scheduled flights on each day of the August strike, totalling 88 cancellations across two days.

Why are pilots in Belgium going on strike?

The strikes in Belgium have been called over pay and working conditions.

Pilots' union Beca cites unacceptable HR management as one of the main reasons for the walkouts. It also claims that Ryanair forced its pilots to accept pay cuts "under the threat of redundancies" during the Covid crisis and set up a system to circumvent automatic pay indexation.

Ryanair denies this, saying in a statement to Euronews Travel that it "complies in full with Belgian law, including the indexation system" and that "the pay cuts agreed during Covid have been fully restored since April this year." 

The budget airline says it has offered the Belgian pilots the same deal as recently agreed by most other Ryanair pilots' unions across the EU, adding that the unions are yet to respond to proposals sent on 25 July.

"We apologise in advance to passengers planning to travel with Ryanair between now and October 2024 who may be affected by these strikes," the unions said in a press release last month.

"But we can no longer allow Ryanair to violate the basic principles of Belgian social dialogue."

Which flights will be affected by Belgian strikes?

During the strikes on 14-15 August, around 25 per cent of Ryanair flights will be affected - or 44 out of its 170 scheduled flights on each day.


Ryanair says it has contacted affected passengers by email and offered a free move to other flights either day, or during the two days before or after the strikes. If you have not received an email, then your flight is expected to go ahead as scheduled.

More than 80 per cent of Ryanair's pilots took part in the 15-16 July strikes, leading to 120 flight cancellations at Charleroi Airport. During the second round of strikes on 29-30 July, almost 100 flights were cancelled.

Flights to Bosnia, Croatia, France, Italy, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden were affected.

Brussels Charleroi airport recommends that passengers travelling on strike dates check their flight status before travelling. It says that passengers will be notified by text or email within 48 hours of departure if their flight is cancelled.

Further strikes could be announced until the COVID-19 agreement expires in October.


Ryanair flights that operate with crews based outside of Belgium will take place as usual. 

Here are more updates on strikes happening across Europe.

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