Danish Island Airport Cancels Flights As Employees Walk Out

The link between the Danish island Bornholm and the mainland via air transport has been severed as an airport worker’s strike forces all flights to and from the airport to be cancelled. The walkout began on Friday, August 26th, after discussions between workers’ unions and airport management broke down. Security staff and baggage staff were the primary groups to walk out. On Sunday, select flights remained scheduled as enough employees told management they would be there. These employees were reportedly later harassed and threatened to the point that they did not return to work, and the airport is still not operating any flights. The only airline that had scheduled flights to the island on Monday was DAT Airlines.


An unplanned strike

On Friday, August 26th, an unofficial and unplanned strike began at the airport on the small Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. The airport staff unions were recently in discussions with airport management, arguing for higher wages for the staff members. After these discussions broke down, airport baggage and security staff walked out. This forced all flights flying to and from the airport to be canceled for Friday and Saturday. Subsequently, flights for Sunday and Monday were also cancelled.

DAT has been forced to cancel its flights to and from Bornholm this weekend. Photo: DAT

The Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority has stated that all employees who do not report for work this upcoming week will be subject to appear before the country’s Arbejdsretten court for industrial disputes. Since the union did not organize and plan the strike, it is considered a wildcat strike and is, therefore, illegal.

The regional carrier DAT Airlines received a few of its flights scheduled for Sunday. Sufficient airport staff had reported that they would be there on Sunday to work for the selected flights. It is reported that these employees were harassed and threatened to the point that they did not come in, and the Sunday flights were also cancelled. A representative for the striking workers commented, saying that no threats were made to any staff members.

DAT provides a crucial service to the island which has been disrupted by the workers’ strikes. Photo: DAT

Many workers had informed management that they would be present to work on Monday. However, insufficient staff arrived on Monday, forcing the airline to cancel all of its flights for the day. It is unclear whether the harassment and threats have affected workers’ decisions to work on Monday. The only airline that had scheduled flights to the Island was DAT Airlines. The regional airline regularly operates daily flights to and from the island to various regional destinations.

These services provide a critical connection to the nation’s mainland. Without air transit services, the residents are limited to utilizing sea transit services to go to and from the island. The flights canceled for Monday include five flights that were to fly from Bornholm to Copenhagen. From there, they would travel to Billund. Seven flights from Copenhagen to Bornholm have also been cancelled, along with three flights from Billund.

Stationary aircraft

The airline has not announced which of its aircraft have been stuck on the island waiting to depart and which have been stuck on the mainland waiting to return. The airline operates a fleet of two ATR-72s, four ATR-42s, and two Airbus A320s. One of the airlines, A320s, has been wet-leased to Finnair for the summer. It is being flown under Finnair’s name and along its routes but is operated by a DAT crew. This additional aircraft has allowed Finnair to better meet the high summer travel demand it faces.

What do you think of this strike? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Local dk

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