IATA describes Brussels Airport controller strike as ‘kick in the teeth’

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has condemned the strike action by Air Traffic Controllers in Belgium which significantly disrupted flights from Brussels airport yesterday.

“This action by air traffic controllers is a kick in the teeth for all the airline and airport staff who have worked so hard to reconnect Brussels to the world after the appalling terrorist attack just three weeks ago,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO.

“It is the height of irresponsibility to cut a vital service and doing so without warning can only be seen as malicious. If we cannot count on simple human decency from such highly-compensated professionals then it’s time for governments to find ways to guarantee the availability of air traffic control services.”

The wildcat strike came after air traffic controllers rejected a compromise deal to settle a long-running conflict over pension reform.

Brussels Airport was already operating at limited capacity after a terror attack killed 16 people in the airport’s check-in area on 22 March.

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