Airlines and airports struggling to replace staff axed during Covid leading to delays for travellers
LONDON May 16: Airlines and airports in UK are struggling to put in place trained staff as a replacement to those who were axed during the Covid pandemic. During the Covid pandemic flights were grounded resulting in lesser demands for international travel. This lead to mass layoffs at airports and by airlines. However, with the clearing of the pandemic, international travel has restarted and many have started to fly abroad for holidays. The surge in holiday travel comes with the brightening of the weather and Summer holidays fast approaching. Airlines and airports are also in the process of recruiting and training such as those for cabin crew, security officers, logistics, retail and warehousing Although efforts are being made to refill the vacancies there is a delay for those travellers as they have to wait long queues at airports due to stringent checks that need to be carried out too. According to report in The Guardian, "All airlines and airports, have been racing to recruit. However, they have emerged into a much tighter labour market – and having paid staff to leave, many businesses are now forced to offer incentives to get them back. BA is offering sign-on bonuses of £1,000 for “below wing” jobs, in ground-handling roles, while ground handlers at Gatwick, employed by firms such as DHL, Menzies and Swissport, have secured 10% pay rises. Security checks have delayed and complicated recruitment. Those working in sensitive roles at airports require employment history dating back five years – no longer straightforward when many have been driven into gig economy roles, or worked for firms who may have gone bust in lockdown. Many applicants – either with better offers, or too cash-strapped to wait – have gone elsewhere before the process is completed, adds report in The Guardian.