2022 – Airline Commerce Authority blames delays in approving recruitment for closing UK airports | aircraft industry

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) attributed the UK’s mid-term shutdown of airports to a problem with approving new recruits, saying the time taken to approve recruits had more than tripled.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of Iata, said it now takes up to three months to obtain security badges for new employees in the UK, compared to three to four weeks before that, meaning potential employees are looking for other jobs.

Thousands have seen their short plans turned upside down as flights and long queues are canceled at major UK transport hubs, including Heathrow, Manchester, Gatwick and Glasgow airports, due to high demand and a shortage of ground and air staff.

easyJet has canceled more than 200 flights at Gatwick between May 28 and June 6 and TUI announced on Tuesday that it will halt six daily departures from Manchester by the end of June.

The government said the Department for Transport (DfT) had been urging the travel industry “for months” to ensure there were enough staff to handle the growing demand and the backlog of canceled flights.

Walsh, the former chief executive of British Airways owner IAG, said: “The problem is you can’t start training until you have the security clearance.

“You offer them a job, they take it, and then you have to go through that three-month period to get the security clearance — they won’t hang around. They will leave and look for a job elsewhere.”

Walsh added that the problems only occurred at “some airports and not around the world” and that this reflected a “significant increase in activity” as airports and airlines try to rebuild from the impact of Covid-19.

In April, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps announced new measures to try to speed up the hiring process, saying that new employees in the aviation sector would be allowed to start training before they passed security checks.

Subscribe to the daily Business Today mail or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at BusinessDesk

On Tuesday, the government said it had urged the travel industry “for months” to make sure it had enough staff to handle the surge in demand and a backlog of deferred public holidays in the wake of the easing of Covid restrictions.

Arts Secretary Stephen Parkinson told Sky News: “Colleagues at the DOT have been working with industry. We’ve been urging them for months to make sure they have enough staff.”

Labor accused the government of failing to prepare for the increased demand for holidays.

Shadow Treasury Secretary James Murray told Sky: “We have warned, unions have warned, and labor representatives have been saying throughout the Covid pandemic: ‘You need an industry-specific package to support the aviation sector.'” Now we see what happened because the government failed to prepare for what was obviously It will come after that.”