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Staff shortages at airports affect travel to some countries, expert says

John Maytham sits down with Plane owner and managing director Linden Birns to find out more.

The return of international summer travel could be overshadowed by disruptions in many countries around the world.

These include long queues, shortages of staff and officials in customs departments to process air tickets.

That’s according to Plane Talking managing director Linden Birns, who spoke to CapeTalk’s John Maytham.

London’s Heathrow Airport has already been affected by long queues ahead of planned summer trips.

Birns added that the COVID-19 outbreak has seen many civil servants in strategic positions being laid off at airports.

It’s peak summer travel time in the northern hemisphere and most of the bottlenecks we see there are understaffing and a whole host of ground service providers, everyone from immigration and customs officers to refuellers, baggage handlers, people who manage X-ray machines at the airport, people who do catering and all these ancillary services.

Linden Birns, Managing Director – Talking Airplane

There is currently a 30% shortage of personnel in this sector in Europe and the United States at the moment compared to 2019. Part of the bottleneck is also the result of a training backlog and many layoffs which took place during COVID-19, and there is a lot of training to be done.

Linden Birns, Managing Director – Talking Airplane

There is also a bottleneck where, in other countries, people are released into their intelligence and security services. Thus, all these new recruits need a security clearance and the authorities dealing with them are drowning in applications.

Linden Birns, Managing Director – Talking Airplane

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This article first appeared on 702: Airport staff shortages affect travel to some countries, expert says

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