A national strike has grounded all flights in and out of Belgium today.

Air traffic controllers joined the 24-hour walkout which will run until 10pm tonight.

Many airlines cancelled or rescheduled flights head of expected disruption during the strike.

Brussels Airlines was forced to cancel its entire schedule of 222 flights affecting more than 16,000 passengers at its hub at Brussels airport.

British Airways said: “Due to a national strike in Belgium, like other airlines we have been forced to cancel our flights to/from Brussels on Wednesday.

“We are contacting customers by SMS if their flight is cancelled.

“Affected customers have a number of options, including re-routing to/from Amsterdam, Paris or Rotterdam, travelling on a different date, or applying for a refund.”

Brussels airport confirmed that no flights would be operating today due to industrial action at the country’s air traffic control agency Skeyes.

“Although the terminal remains open, we kindly ask our passengers not to come to the airport on Wednesday. Passengers whose flight is affected by the general strike are requested to contact their airline,” the airport said.

However, Brussels Airlines announced that flights departing from the Africa and North America today, with a scheduled arrival at Brussels airport on Thursday, would be operated.

The day of national strikes, called by Belgium’s three major trade union federations, is in protest over wage growth, which is limited to 0.8% for the next two years.

Unions are calling for an increase in pay, benefits and pensions to what they believe is a reasonable living level, as well as improvements to work-life balance, the BBC reported.

tw4