October 26, 2018 / 11:06 AM / 20 days ago

Brussels Airport flights cancelled as baggage handlers strike

Passengers wait during a strike by Aviapartner baggage handlers at Zaventem international airport near Brussels, Belgium October 26, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Brussels Airport cancelled 184 flights on Friday after baggage handlers complaining about working conditions went on strike.

The strike, which had not been called by the unions in advance, began on Thursday evening and initially led to the cancellation of 50 flights.

Brussels Airport laid on beds for some 300 people who were forced to spend the night there, a spokeswoman for the airport said.

She said the tally of cancelled flights on Friday was 184 - 116 departures and 68 arrivals - with a further 40 flights rerouted to other airports.

The airport normally handles about 800 flights per day.

The strike of workers at Aviapartner affected 29 airlines, including Ryanair and KLM, but did not have an impact on Belgium’s main carrier Brussels Airlines, which uses a different operator to handle luggage.

The strike is scheduled to end at 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Saturday. Aviapartner workers were complaining about a staff shortage which had resulted in increased work pressure.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop. Editing by Jane Merriman

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