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Brussels Airlines

Reasons behind strike at Brussels Airlines

Pilots at the Lufthansa subsidiary are worried about their future as the group pushes Eurowings.

Pilots at the Lufthansa Group subsidiary Brussels Airlines say they will go on strike from May 11, in a dispute over pay, conditions and the airline’s future that has been brewing for a while.

The pilots’ unions have formally notified the airline of their intention, although talks between management and union representatives are continuing this week.

“We have been in talks for a few weeks,” a Brussels Airlines spokesperson said. “We hope we can find a solution to prevent a possible strike.”

The pilots are after a pay rise, an improved work-life balance, better career prospects and the chance of earlier retirement. More than 80% of them voted in favour of a strike.

Eurowings factor
But deeper concerns relate to Brussels Airlines’ future as part of Lufthansa Group’s push to boost the budget brand Eurowings, Filip Lemberechts of the ACLVB union told the news agency Reuters.

“What will happen to Brussels Airlines for medium- and long-haul flights, what is the position of Brussels? As long as there is uncertainty, people are worried,” he said.

The group has already said it plans to use Brussels Airlines to expand Eurowings’ long-haul routes from Düsseldorf.

Lufthansa took full control of the Belgian flag carrier in 2016 and this year appointed a new chief executive and chief operating officer, having fired the previous incumbents due to disagreements over the airline’s future.

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