ACI Europe, a European airport industry association, asked members about their prospects for this summer. Two-thirds indicated that the number of delays due to staff shortages in handling baggage and travelers is likely to increase. In addition, 16 percent expect that the number of flight cancellations will also increase. More than one in three airports thinks that staffing problems will continue after the summer season.
The umbrella organization calls it a “clear handicap” that the wages for security guards and ground personnel in aviation are so low. The irregular working hours also deter potential new employees.
Due to the corona pandemic, many countries closed their borders and there were far fewer flights in 2020 and 2021. There are still fewer air passengers than in the last year before the virus outbreak, but according to ACI Europe, the peak times are much busier.
In recent weeks, it has become clear at Schiphol that the shortage of employees can cause chaos. On Saturday 23 April, staff who load and unload baggage and air cargo stopped working out of dissatisfaction with the workload. As a result, the departure halls threatened to become so full that Schiphol called on people not to come to the airport anymore. For the following weekend, the airport asked airlines to cancel flights to keep the crowds manageable. In the coming days, companies will divert some flights to Rotterdam.