Airlines are suffering from staff shortages related to coronavirus sickness, leading to flights being grounded and passengers at Manchester Airport have reported long queues in recent days and ‘chaos’ at the airport.
Yesterday (Saturday) passengers reported a more organised system with queues managed more smoothly
The travel disruption is affecting many families heading abroad for the Easter school holiday, which is the first since the UK's coronavirus restrictions for international travellers were dropped.
EasyJet cancelled hundreds of flights last week.
In a statement on the airport’s website, MAG CEO, Charlie Cornish, said: “First and foremost, I want to say that I understand passengers’ frustrations with the queues and congestion they’ve experienced in recent weeks, and I apologise to anyone who has been affected by the disruption.
“We are committed to getting customers away on their trips, especially as we know many have waited such a long time to get back to travelling internationally. Having endured the worst crisis in our 84-year history, I can assure you that there is no one more pleased to see passengers back in our terminals than we are.
"The simple fact is that we don’t currently have the number of staff we need to provide the level of service that our passengers deserve. Despite our efforts since last Autumn, the tight labour market around the airport has meant we have just not been able to hire people quickly enough to establish a full-strength team.
“Practically, staff shortages mean that we cannot open all the security lanes we need and at times, this results in longer queues than we want to see. While we still expect most passengers to get through in less than 30-40 minutes, there will be times over the next few months when waiting times will rise to between 60 and 90 minutes.
“We understand that people will feel anxious about missing their flights when they see queues of this length. So for now, we are advising passengers to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight leaves, to allow enough time to check-in, get through security and reach the departure gate. If passengers follow that advice, and allow more time than normal, we are confident they will get away on their travels.
“These measures are temporary and we are focused on getting back to normal in time for the peak summer season. As new staff join us, the operational pressure we are facing will ease and queue times will begin to come down.
"I cannot apologise enough for the disruption people have faced. We are proud of our role as the UK’s gateway in the North, and as a major source of employment and economic value for the region. We will be back to where we need to be soon, and are working as hard as we can to get there as quickly as possible.”
Read the full statement here.
You can check the status of your easyJet flight on their flight tracker here. Just enter your flight number or the origin country or destination of your flight.
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