Belgium to close airspace for 24 hours due to strike

No Flights To Or From Belgium Due To Strike On Wednesday

No Flights To Or From Belgium Due To Strike On Wednesday

Belgium's air traffic control authority said on Tuesday it was forced to close the country's airspace between Tuesday 10 p.m. CET (2100 UTC) and the same time on Wednesday.

The strike was called by Belgian trade unions in a dispute over wages.

Belgian airspace is at a crucial intersection between major airports in London, Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt and is among the busiest in Europe.

On Twitter Brussels Airport asked people not to travel to the airport.

According to information available on the website of Tallinn Airport, all Nordica departures to and from Brussels on Wednesday have been cancelled.

Above 8,000 meters (26,000 feet), a control center in the Dutch city of Maastricht controls aircraft flying over Belgian territory. However, worldwide trains like the Eurostar, Thalys and TGV services are unlikely to be disrupted. Some Eurostar trains to London were canceled due to maintenance.

The port of Antwerp will likely by impacted with losses of several million euros and the port of Ghent will be nearly entirely paralyzed, reports the Belgian newspaper Le Soir. Blockades stopped work at factories across Belgium.

In Brussels, the circulation of trams, buses and metros may be highly disturbed, warned the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company (STIB) on Monday. The situation was the same in the rest of the country.

Unions are calling for higher wages, benefits and pensions, and better end-of-career conditions. Some see the strike as political action against the center-right federal government ahead of a parliamentary election.

Government, military and emergency flights will be allowed: Officials said.

Belgium's Central Council of the Economy, composed of worker, employer and consumer representatives, has advised that the maximum pay hike for 2019 and 2020 should be 0.8 percent.