UK’s airports may be seeing a surge of cancelled and delayed flights during December, because of the news that the company Aviator is pulling out it’s baggage handling contract that it has with many of the UK’s leading airports.
The Swedish company announced that it was to end it’s UK operations completely, which means that it will no longer provide it’s services to airports such as Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle airports.
Financial reasons are rumored to be behind closure.
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson told the Daily Mail:
‘It is a matter of serious concern for both our members and the travelling public that, so close to Christmas, most of the airlines have not announced where their baggage handling and check-in contracts are going.
‘The airport owners and the airlines, which require these services for their planes to land and take-off efficiently, need to get their skates on to sort this out, without any detriment to the staff jobs, pay and conditions – otherwise Christmas travel chaos is on the cards.’
A spokesman for the company made this rebuttal:
‘We note the statement issued by Unite today and completely understand the desire for more clarity on plans.
‘We’re in discussions with a large number of stakeholders including airlines to ensure that this process is orderly and well-managed.
‘We’re consulting with employees and their representatives to deal with any concerns they have and providing further information as and when we have it and will continue to do so.
‘We remain in close cooperation with the unions as well as other stakeholders. Our focus is on maximizing employment and meeting the needs of our airline customers while minimizing disruption and we are working tirelessly to achieve that goal well in advance of the Christmas travel period.’
The news of the cuts is expected to leave the four airports short of some 1,700 staff. And this lack of employees available to manage check-in, refueling and baggage handling services, will likely affect the scheduling of flights, which in turn will mean passengers having to endure more flight delays. Click here to learn more about flight delay compensation.