On Friday, reports emerged that a strike by baggage handlers at Brussels airport has caused the cancellation of around 100 flights, affecting thousands of passengers during a major school holiday. File picture: Virginia Mayo/AP Photo.

Brussels - A strike by baggage handlers at Brussels airport has caused the cancellation of around 100 flights, affecting thousands of passengers during a major school holiday, an official said Friday.

Some 300 travellers spent Thursday night at Brussels-Zaventem airport after handlers at Belgian firm Aviapartner went on strike, airport spokeswoman Nathalie Pierard told AFP.

Pierard said about 100 departing and arriving flights were cancelled, mainly at Ryanair, as media reported the strike was over demands for higher staffing levels.

"Friday is one of the busiest days of the autumn. A total of 47,000 passengers are due to leave today," Pierard said.

Many other flights were delayed, she added.

The strike comes at the end of a school holiday in neighbouring Netherlands and the start of one in Belgium that coincides with All Saints Day.

A meeting between union delegates and at Aviapartner was due Friday in a bid to resolve the dispute.

Brussels airport is the largest in Belgium, with nearly 25 million passengers passing through last year, compared to seven million at Charleroi airport in the south, the country's second biggest.

AFP