Expecting new trouble at Charleroi airport? “Management and Ryanair hold passengers hostage”

Expecting new trouble at Charleroi airport?  "Management and Ryanair hold passengers hostage"

This Wednesday, November 9, the country will come to a standstill in a national strike that has been announced for weeks. We talk about it so much that those who are surprised to see a train or bus canceled or a supermarket closed are probably showing bad faith. But does this also apply to those whose flight is scheduled at a Belgian airport? On the part of Brussels Airport, we took the lead last weekend About 40% of flights were declared cancelled Scheduled for Wednesday. The decision reached with the companies allows passengers to be rescheduled for flights scheduled the day before or the day after the strike. On the side of Charleroi Airport, when there is a strike we stick to a simple message: arrive at least 3 hours early for your flight to the airport.

Didier Lebbe, the CNE union representative in charge of aviation, pounded his fist on the table. “Charleroi-based companies (he points out Ryanair in particular) and the airport’s management play cat and mouse and end up holding passengers hostage,” he says. I called the airport manager (Philippe Verdonck, editor’s note) on Friday to ask if he was going to follow Zaventem’s example. He told me that the situation was different as the companies had taken the decision themselves and people had been warned anyway that the strike would disrupt airport operations.

A very scary position in his opinion. “They are not taking any steps to avoid the same chaos that happened three weeks ago! I don’t know what they are playing, but I don’t take responsibility if the same situation repeats itself. They have been warned about the strike for weeks and we have warned them many times. They will still say that we are holding people captive with our movement, but it is their fault. As long as they don’t do it on purpose so they can hit us later.

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For his part, Philippe Verdonck is clear. “The impact will depend on the activities the strikers contract with their power stations, he explains to us. As in Zaventem, airline cancellations are purely airline decisions. As of now, they have not communicated their decisions yet, but if they do they will inform their passengers directly via SMS / E-mail, and instructions for passengers have been published on our website since last week. In other words, what applies to Zaventem applies to Charleroi and other airports in the event of a national strike.

And Didier Lebbe to add a layer. “There is European law that forces companies to find a solution, for example, to reschedule passengers on flights the day before or the day after strike action, when it has been planned for a long time and faces disruptions. I remind you that Ryanair, despite being an Irish company, must respect Belgian law.

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