The Belgian subsidiary of Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, is cancelling close to 700 flights over the summer holiday period, around 6% of those scheduled, to reduce workload and avoid strikes, the airline said today.

"We are meeting the demands of the unions today and we hope it can rule out further actions [this summer]," Brussels Airlines spokesperson Maaike Andries said.

"For long-term solutions, we will organise a meeting with the unions on August 23."

The cancellations would lead to €10.2m in lost revenue, the airline added.

Pilot and cabin crew unions of Brussels Airlines held a three-day strike last month, after complaining that the pressure of work was too high.

The unions said the company had been aware of the situation for around a year but failed to alleviate it.

Across Europe strikes and staff shortages are forcing airlines to cancel thousands of flights, causing hours-long queues at major airports, dashing hopes of a first summer holiday for many after Covid lockdowns.