Why do the Brussels Airlines pilots want to go on strike?
BeCA understands the discontent of Brussels Airlines crewmembers. Since the end of last year, social tensions have increased within the company.
Due to the fierce competition in the aviation sector today, Brussels Airlines, like all European airlines, is caught in a harsh commercial war. To be competitive and profitable again, the management of Brussels Airlines implemented 2 years ago the Reboot+ restructuring plan, asking for salary and productivity efforts from its employees.
Unfortunately previously agreed measures were not implemented as planned and commitments were not fulfilled. The management refuses to keep the salary concessions, which include a partial freeze of the salary indexation, within the agreed savings envelope and is thus unilaterally imposing additional pay cuts. While the purchasing power of the employees continues to drop, the financial health of the company has not improved. The managers (CEO, COO, HR Director) that initiated the airlines’ restructuring plan are no longer in the company. This high turnover of the management staff prevents the implementation of any company strategy. Worse, financial results expected from these measures are not being achieved. Pilots are concerned about the way their airline is managed. Today the pilot community legitimately wonders:
- Why were so many flights canceled during the last 12 months? A recurrent lack of pilots and/or cabin crews was a major part of the answer. This is still the case today.
- Why are profitable operations (cargo revenue, extra cargo flights during the pandemic, high yield destinations, long haul leisure destinations…) dropped or transferred from Brussels Airlines to other entities of the Lufthansa group, depriving Brussels Airlines of substantial revenues?
- Why are unnecessary expenses approved while investments that could improve the efficiency of the company (spare aircraft, stocks of spare parts, more operational staff…) are denied? Flight cancellations & delays cost millions of EUR every year.
Due to this recurrent lack of transparency and efficiency, the trust between the pilot community and the management has broken. The Brussels Airlines pilots do not want unkept promises anymore but request real, coherent, and continuous commitments to give their company a sustainable future.
The airline structure and processes have to be thoroughly reviewed and improved. Pilots will no longer pay for the mismanagement of their airline.
Social actions planned on 23, 24 & 25 June are their last resort to make their voices heard.