Airport staff could work longer, says minister

·1-min read
Business minister Paul Scully says airport staff who want to could work longer (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
Business minister Paul Scully says airport staff who want to could work longer (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

One solution to the chaos at airports is for staff to work longer hours if they want to, a minister said on Friday.

Airports have been hit by delays and cancellations caused by staff shortages after the aviation industry axed thousands of jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are warnings of further problems this summer.

Business minister Paul Scully told Sky News: “We want to work really closely with the airports and the airlines to make sure that they are doing everything they can and see what more we can do.”

Asked whether this meant people working longer hours, he said: “I’m not talking about going out forcing people to do anything, but we just want to make sure that they’re matched up properly so that it’s just that those people who can work longer — that want to work longer — can do.”

Gatwick has said it will reduce flights in response to the staffing problems.

It plans to limit daily flights to 825 next month and 850 in August compared with 900 daily flights during the same period in previous years.

After a review of operations, Gatwick said it was “temporarily moderating its rate of growth” to help passengers “experience a more reliable and better standard of service”.

The airport said the reduction will allow airlines to manage more predictable timetables and will help ground handling companies, so that most scheduled flights operate as normal.

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