April 14, 2016 / 2:26 PM / 4 years ago

Belgian air traffic controllers return to work

A passenger arrives at Brussels Airport, which partially re-opened following a bomb blast 12 days ago, in Zaventem, Belgium April 3, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Doppagne/Pool

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian air traffic controllers returned fully to work on Thursday, two days after a dispute over new working conditions led many to call in sick, while talks with the government to find a solution continued.

Brussels Airport, which is struggling to recover after Islamist bombers killed 16 people and destroyed the departure hall on March 22, registered just a few cancellations of flights to and from European cities on Thursday morning.

Belgocontrol, which handles the airspace over Belgium, said no staff had called in sick for Thursday’s morning or afternoon shifts, unlike on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A provisional settlement was reached on Tuesday, including an increase of the minimum retirement age to 58 and a plan to recruit 30 new traffic controllers by early 2017.

One labour union then advised its 80 members, among a total of 280 traffic controllers, to call in sick.

The government is now acting as a mediator in the dispute, which is still not resolved.

Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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