Travel News

Lagos airport runway shut, airlines predict flight delays - PUNCH

JULY 07, 2022

The domestic runway of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos will be completely closed for three months to enable some repairs and installation of Air Field Lighting to be done.

The development means that international and local airlines will use the international runway (18R/36L) for landing and take-off during the three-month period.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria confirmed the runway closure in a statement on Wednesday titled, Airfield lighting installation: FAAN to close domestic runway 18L/36R.

The statement read in part, “As part of efforts aimed at improving safety and efficiency of flight operations at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has concluded arrangements to complete the installation of CAT III Airfield Ground Lighting system on Runway 18L/36R. The project, which will commence effectively on Friday, July 8, 2022, is expected to last for 90 days.

“Consequently, Runway 18L/36R will be closed to flight operations during this time. However, stakeholders are to note that there will be no disruption. All normal flight operations will be conducted through runway 18R/36L. A NOTAM (Notice to Air Men) to this effect has already been published and disseminated accordingly.”

The statement was issued by the Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs. Faithful A. Hope-Ivbaze.

FAAN had reportedly held a meeting with airline operators on Tuesday where the timeframe and modalities were communicated.

However, airlines operators and industry observers have said there may be slight delays to flights during the period.

A former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and the Chief Executive Officer of Topbrass Aviation Services, Roland Iyayi, envisaged that local airlines would bear more of the brunt of the closure.

Iyayi said, “With the closure of the domestic runway, you have additional delays of traffic, inbound and outbound-Lagos both domestic and international. For the domestic carriers, that will mean additional costs in terms of fuel. The international flights will not be pretty much affected because they have a scheduled arrival time. To a large extent, they don’t necessarily expect undue delays, if you know the peak periods for international flights, between early mornings and late evenings, so with more flights coming in the evenings and going out late nights, I expect a minimal impact to be on the international airlines. The domestic carriers will be the ones that will bear it more because it’ll mean that they have to taxi all the way from domestic to international and that’s an additional cost of fuel. The holding time and of course taxing time, all these things add up to cost and that’s the problem the carriers will have to face.”

The President, Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria, Kingsley Nwokeoma, however, expressed the hope that the government  agency would complete the job within the states timeframe.

He said, “Apparently, we should always have in mind that the runways are major operational facilities and if you notice, we have always had runway issues and most times you don’t see the two runways being functional and the functionality is key because it is every airline’s dream to have a runway that is not being overused, these are runways that big birds keep landing on.

“The major effect will be that both the international and the local carriers will be using one particular runway, and this is not operationally healthy. Hopefully, we pray that FAAN and NAMA fix this on time and very well.”

Fuel sells N175/litre, marketers plan strike, queues worsen - PUNCH

JULY 07, 2022

Some filling stations on Wednesday dispensed Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, at over N175/litre, higher than the government-approved N165/litre price, as oil marketers insisted to embark on strike from next week if the government fails to pay them (marketers).

It was gathered that some outlets in Lagos that sold the commodity at N169/litre last week had to adjust their pumps on Wednesday, as they dispensed PMS to motorists at N175/litre.

Also, queues by motorists at filling stations, which had persisted in Abuja and environs since February this year, gradually resurfaced in parts of Lagos on Wednesday.

Our correspondent also observed that many filling stations, particularly those belonging to members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, were shut due to a lack of products to sell to customers.

Gegu Oil, Eterna and Oando filling stations at the Dutse end of the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway in Abuja, for instance, had remained shut for days for lack of products to sell, despite the heavy queues of motorists in a nearby NNPC retail outlet.

Amidst these concerns, oil marketers under the aegis of Abuja-Suleja IPMAN, stated on Wednesday that their proposed strike would go ahead next week if the government fails to substantially clear the bridging claims for transportation of petrol being owed marketers.

Last week, oil marketers warned that Nigeria could witness “the mother of all queues” soon if the Federal Government fails to pay the 12 months bridging claims being owed operators in the downstream oil sector.

They had also denied being paid N74bn by the Federal Government as bridging claims for the transportation of petroleum products.

The Federal Government through its Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority had said last week that it paid N74bn as bridging claims to oil marketers for the transportation of petroleum products across the country in seven months.

But the Secretary, Abuja-Suleja IPMAN, Mohammed Shuaibu, whose unit covers Abuja, Kogi, Niger and parts of Nasarawa and Kaduna, told our correspondent on Wednesday that though some members had confirmed the receipt of payments, a host of others had yet to receive theirs.

“Few of our members have confirmed receiving alerts, but the majority have not been paid and so the decision to embark on the mother of all strike still stands, except we get our payments,” he stated.

Shuaibu added, “Many independent marketers are closing shop and because of these debts. We cannot continue to fold our hands. We are sorry about the hardship, but the government has to pay us, otherwise we will withdraw our services.”

Reacting to the concerns, the spokesperson, NMDPRA, Kimchi Apollo, earlier told our correspondent that the petrol price had not changed from the approved N165/litre price, as he also stated that efforts were on to settle to bridging claims being owed the marketers.

Meanwhile, there were indications that long queues were beginning to resurface in Lagos State and its environs on Wednesday, as findings showed that filling stations were beginning to sell petrol above N175 per litre.

The Federal Government and oil marketers are yet to come to a compromise on how much a litre of petrol should be sold, and marketers are beginning to sell products at prices not approved by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

The PUNCH on Wednesday, noticed that while most filling stations in Lagos in Ogun state were under lock and keys, long queues were beginning to reappear at few stations with products.

A source close to the matter told The PUNCH that marketers met with Chief Executive, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, in Abuja on Tuesday, where he pleaded with them not to increase the price.

According to our source, Farouk has promised that the N74bn bridging claims owed marketers would be paid any time soon.

Marketers, however, said they could no longer bank on the Federal Government’s promise to pay the claims, while they continue to run at a loss for selling petrol at N165 per litre.

Marketers had held a similar meeting with the NMDPRA two weeks ago, where they aired their grievances on the high costs of running their petrol stations.

Also, the Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria had hinted that it would be impossible for its members to keep prices at N165/litre when the landing costs to their stations were already on the high side.

British Airways reaches deal with Heathrow staff to avoid summer strikes - THE TELEGRAPH

JULY 07, 2022

British Airways has reached a deal with union at Heathrow airport, potentially averting some strike chaos this summer.

The airline improved its pay offer to check-in staff, according to Unite, which will now re-ballot members on proposed strike action.

Swerving strikes could prevent further disruption after travel disruptions including staff shortages forced the flag carrier to cancel more than 10,000 flights this summer.

Travel Chaos Pits Pandemic Winner Qantas Against Angry Aussies - BLOOMBERG

JULY 09, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- Australians are turning on Qantas Airways Ltd. and its boss as widespread travel disruptions and airport ordeals test their affection for one of the country’s biggest brands. 

Qantas, which carries the slogan “Spirit of Australia,” has become a punching bag for passengers exasperated with canceled flights, lost belongings and unscheduled sleepovers on airport floors. It’s an ugly reversal of fortune for a company that carefully navigated Covid-19 and emerged in better financial shape than almost any other airline in the world.

The backlash comes as the global aviation industry struggles to cope with a rebound in travel demand after laying off staff to get through the pandemic with bare-bones operations. While chaotic scenes at airports in the US and Europe have become commonplace, emotions are running particularly high for Australians who feel let down by Qantas. 

Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce has landed in the firing line of social-media vitriol, with customers lashing out and accusing him of being overzealous in shedding more than 8,000 jobs, leaving Qantas so short of manpower that it can’t function properly. 

Qantas had Australia’s worst flight-cancellation record in May, scrapping 7.6% of its services, or one in 13. It’s even become the subject of an online parody by national broadcaster ABC. 

The operational lapses are pushing some disaffected passengers to Virgin Australia, which was on the brink of collapse in 2020 before private equity group Bain Capital stepped in. Virgin Australia canceled 5.1% of its services in May. The long-term cancellation rate in Australia is 2%.

Qantas leans heavily on advertisements that pull on the heartstrings, with tag-lines such as I Still Call Australia Home. Its recent media campaigns have dramatized emotional family reunions to encourage people to fly again.  

“It feels like the brand’s breaking a number of promises,” said Paul Nelson, managing director of Sydney-based consultancy BrandMatters. “Loyal customers fall a lot further when they’ve had you on a pedestal and you haven’t met expectations.”

The operational failings place unexpected and premature pressure on Joyce, who took the Qantas helm in 2008 and is one of aviation’s longest-serving leaders. At the height of the Covid crisis in June 2020, with Australia essentially off limits to international travel, he agreed to stay at the airline for at least another three years to oversee a recovery.  

“The longer Alan sits there, it gets more difficult for him to demonstrate that things are going to be different,” Nelson said.

Rusty Passengers

Joyce didn’t help matters in April when he said delays were partly because rusty passengers had forgotten airport security protocols and weren’t “match fit.”  

Graeme Breen is one frequent flyer Qantas is losing. The schoolteacher’s attempt in April to catch a lunchtime Qantas flight from Canberra to Brisbane, a trip of about 1 hour 40 minutes, turned into an eight-hour marathon. The service was delayed at least three times at the gate before being scrubbed. Breen was diverted to Sydney for a connecting flight north to Brisbane. When he eventually got there, his luggage was still in Canberra.

“It’s definitely dented my confidence in the reliability of the airline,” said Breen. The 57-year-old gained the impression that Qantas puts profit over customer service and he booked his next trip, in October, with Virgin Australia.

In the early evening of July 3, a three-hour Qantas flight from Sydney to Wellington in New Zealand was so late leaving it missed the 1 a.m. landing curfew at its destination. It diverted to Christchurch in the middle of the night. Passengers, some of whom slept on a bench in the airport, didn’t leave for Wellington until the following morning.

Ryan Walkinshaw, director of Melbourne-based motor-racing team Walkinshaw Andretti United, has kept a log on Twitter of his weeks-long effort to be reunited with his luggage. Qantas finally returned the remains of his suitcase, last seen at London’s Heathrow Airport in mid-June, this week.

Qantas has said it is taking steps to cope better, such as rolling out new check-in and baggage kiosks in Sydney. It has even called up hundreds of head-office staff to track down luggage and manage queues. The airline’s performance is “not where we need it to be,” Joyce said on June 24. “But it will improve over the next few weeks.”

Worker Woes

Some critics blame the mishaps on Qantas’s decision during the pandemic to outsource ground-handling operations with the loss of more than 2,000 jobs. A court later judged the cuts were unlawful.

The number of cabin crew at Qantas’s international division has also shrunk to about 2,000 from over 3,000 before Covid, according to Teri O’Toole, federal secretary of the Flight Attendant’s Association of Australia International. 

“It’s like they’ve been caught short and they didn’t see it coming,” O’Toole said. “Their industrial relations agenda is savage and leaves no goodwill. They have to be responsible for it.” 

Adding to Qantas’s woes, its engineers are threatening to strike as soon as next month as they seek a 12% pay increase. Steve Purvinas, federal secretary of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers’ Association, said Qantas has 750 engineers, 30% fewer than before the pandemic, which isn’t enough to get through the required maintenance and repair work. 

“The challenges Qantas is facing are all of its own doing,” Purvinas said by phone. “They’re not caused by Covid. They’re caused by management.” 

Ryanair to return to Belfast International Airport with 12 new routes - P.A.MEDIA

JULY 09, 2022

Ryanair is to resume flights from Belfast International Airport.

Last year the Irish low-cost airline announced it was pulling out of the airport, citing concerns over air passenger duty (APD).

But it has now announced 12 new routes from the hub next summer, operating 115 flights per week

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The routes include Alicante, Faro, Barcelona Girona, Milan Bergamo and Malaga as well as domestic services to East Midlands, Edinburgh, London Stansted and Manchester.

Ryanair’s Belfast-based fleet will comprise of two aircraft and create 60 aviation jobs at Belfast International as well as a number of indirect roles.

Ryanair’s director of commercial, Jason McGuinness, said: “At a time when other airlines are cutting their schedules and reducing their workforce, we are delighted to announce a new Ryanair base at Belfast International Airport with 12 exciting routes.

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“We are delighted to have reached a long-term agreement with Belfast International’s management, which will underpin future Ryanair growth at the airport over the coming years.

“Today’s announcement, particularly our decision to launch close to 80 weekly domestic flights to/from East Midlands, Edinburgh, London Stansted and Manchester, demonstrates that lower aviation taxes and competitive airport charges are the catalyst for long-term traffic growth and increased connectivity.”

Mr McGuinness added that concerns over APD remain.

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“To enable additional investment from Ryanair (and other airlines) from next summer onwards, the UK Government must immediately scrap aviation taxes for all flights, otherwise it will put the UK at risk of losing air traffic to competing European countries,” he said.

Belfast International Airport’s chief financial officer, Dan Owens, said: “This is a significant investment, bringing job creation and positive news for our passengers and the region.

“It increases the number of destinations now available from the airport to over 70 domestic and international destinations, offering more choice than ever for travellers.”

Meanwhile, George Best Belfast City Airport has announced new services to Cardiff and Southampton with Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Emerald Airlines.

Michelle Hatfield, Corporate Services Director at Belfast City Airport, said: “As one of the largest airline partners at Belfast City Airport, the addition of more Aer Lingus Regional services is fantastic for both business and leisure passengers wishing to travel to the UK.

“Passengers have been asking for further connections to Cardiff and Southampton and we are thrilled that we have been able to deliver in time for the busy summer period.”

Ciaran Smith, head of commercial at Emerald Airlines said: “We are delighted to commence our Cardiff and Southampton services from Belfast, providing those travelling from Belfast with more choice when planning their holidays.”

Nigerians Barred From Accessing Turkish e-Visa - INDEPENDENT

JULY 09, 2022

Nigerians aiming to access visas to the Republic of Turkey may now have it rougher or their hope dashed as the country has reportedly removed the nationals of the most populous black nation from accessing the e-visa provisions but have instead been advised to apply via any Turkish Consulate.

According to Leadership reports, prospective applicants were shocked by the sudden development as they were not given any prior notice on it from the Turkish Mission in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, it is being suspected by some that the decision of the Turkish authorities must have been informed by the incessant terrorist attacks being witnessed and reported in Nigeria.

This is also on the heel of the high-security alert that greeted the attacks on the Custodial Centre in Abuja on Tuesday, where some terrorist elements were among those released from the centre.

A victim of the visa ban development is quoted in a message: “Just putting this out there. Someone out there with a Schengen /UK/US visa might be booking a ticket to Turkey right now thinking they will apply for a visa electronically. DO NOT. Turkey decided to delist Nigerians from the e-visa list yesterday evening. With no prior warning/ communication. They clearly don’t rate us. Anyway, all Nigerians have to apply via the consulate wherever they are.

“Turns out so many people are/were planning to go to Turkey soon. Honestly, just apply through the consulate. There is still no information online. No press release, nothing! They are disrespectful. An agent told me she applied on behalf of someone yesterday and within the space of 5 minutes the message on the site had changed. Apparently, it has something to do with the “prison break”/ concerns of terrorism.

“Unfortunately, nationals of the country that you selected are not eligible for e-visa. Kindly visit the nearest Turkish mission to apply for a visa application. Please visit http:www.visa.gov.tr for the full list of the Turkish Embassies and Consulates,” the message said.

Another Nigerian whose application was apparently rejected and his payment refunded posted a message he allegedly received from the Turkish authorities. The message read: “We regret to inform you that we are unable to process your application this time. Please refer to the Government website where you will be able to apply for your electronic travel documents as there will be some additional information you will be required to enter.

“The total cost of your application (158 Dollars) has been refunded in compliance with our Refund Policy As your application cannot be processed.

The total amount has been refunded directly to the same method of payment used to hire your professional services. No further action on your part is required at this point.

“Depending on your bank you will receive the refund between 1 and 10 business days. In the unlikely event that you have not received the refund after this time frame, you may contact us for assistance by replying to this mail.”

Some members of the diplomatic community such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada have warned their citizens again.

Air Peace Begins Direct Flight To China Next Week - DAILY TRUST

JULY 09, 2022

By  Abdullateef Aliyu

Nigeria’s leading airline, Air Peace, has concluded plans to extend its wings to Guangzhou, China, and Mumbai, India, with scheduled flight operations this month.

The airline has also disclosed that Israel will soon join its international network.

Spokesperson of Air Peace, Stanley Olisa, said the airline will be launching its initial one weekly flight to China on July 13, 2022.

This would be followed by two weekly flights to India also before the end of July, with the hope to increase the frequencies when operations garner momentum.  

Olisa stated that these new destinations were a further testimony to the airline’s determination to connect Nigerians seamlessly to other parts of the world and deepen socio-economic ties between Nigeria and both countries. 

He stressed that Air Peace’s entry into both countries would strengthen their bilateral ties, adding that China and India are not new terrains for the airline.

He said, “Guangzhou and Mumbai are not new terrains for Air Peace as we have operated a number of special/evacuation flights into both cities in the past. So, we are very familiar with the airspace and plans to launch Tel Aviv, Israel, are in top gear. This is also not a new space for us as you know; we have operated flights to and from the country. 

The airline further stated that it would continue to provide peaceful and strategic network connections, in line with its no-city-left-behind mantra, which the airline is aggressively implementing.

 He added that the airline also has in the works two other African destinations – Malabo in Equatorial Guinea and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 It would be recalled that in March 2022, Air Peace launched its Niamey route, and a few months before then, it flagged off Douala operations from Lagos and PH. 

Ogun Cargo Airport Ready Before End Of 2022 – Govt - DAILY TRUST

JULY 09, 2022

By Abdullateef Aliyu

The Ogun State government yesterday said the state-owned Gateway Agro-cargo airport will begin operations at the end of 2022.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Abdulwaheed Odusile, who disclosed this while briefing aviation journalists at the site of the airport said the airport would be an international one in all ramifications.

Daily Trust reports that the airport project was conceived under the administration of Governor Gbenga Daniel but now being implemented by the Dapo Abiodun administration.

The airport located in Iperu community in Ikenne Local Government Area of the state is sited on 5000 hectares of land and has a 4-kilometre runway which is almost completed.

In addition, the control tower for the air traffic control system is a five-storey building.

The commissioner who was joined by the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Ade Akinsanya, as well as officials of the contractor, Craneburg Construction, said the three major components of the airport comprising the runway, fire station and control tower are on the verge of completion.

Odusile said, “By the grace of God, aircraft will take off and this airport will be the fastest constructed one in Nigeria and maybe Africa.”

He said the airport will be an international testing centre for goods ready to be exported and this will eliminate issues of produce not being up to standard after leaving the shores of the country.

The commissioner also stated that agencies like the Nigerian Air force, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), among others are already showing interest in the airport.

 He added that the uniqueness of the airport is its accessibility as there are six locations to come in from such as Lagos, Ibadan, Ijebu Ode, Shagamu, among others.

He disclosed that the runway is about 90 percent completed, adding, “The runway has about four layers with different classes of MM. The layer is about 65mm of asphalt, the second layer is about 50mm of asphalt and the next is about 100mm of asphalt.

“This airport can be compared to Morocco and Paris; it’s a class E airport which will be attracting a lot of private investors to come and develop it, but we will be providing the basic facilities.”

E-visa For Nigerians On Arrival To Turkey Challenge Temporary, Says Business Council Chair - THISDAY

JULY 10, 2022

The Nigerian-Turkey Business Council Chairman, Dele Oye esq, has assured Nigerians that the challenge of accessing electronic visa on arrival to Turkey was not peculiar to Nigerians alone but to all African countries, assuring that measures have been put in place to resolve the impasse.

The council however cautioned that anyone who has no urgent need to travel should reschedule for a future date.

The statement he personally signed on Friday reads in parts: “We wish to bring to the attention of the Members of the Nigeria-Türkiye Business Council of the difficulties in accessing the Republic of Türkiye E-visa/ Visa on arrival platforms by Nigerians (and also in all other African Countries), due to temporary technical challenges.

“Kindly be rest assured that all measures have been put in place to resolve this issue.

“For those who have no urgent reasons to travel to the Republic of Türkiye, kindly avoid applying for visas directly to the Republic of Turkey to avoid unnecessary delays.”

This disclosure puts to rest rumors that Nigeria was suspended because of the rise in terrorism especially the recent prison break in Abuja.

Qantas baggage handler says ‘there’s not enough of us there to get to all the bags’ - THE GUARDIAN UK

JULY 10, 2022

Pieces of luggage to and from the bellies of Qantas planes each day at the Sydney domestic airport, “these days there are about 10 barrows each day that just don’t make it on”.

They said that during recent school holiday peaks office managers from Qantas and Swissport had rolled up their sleeves and helped move luggage alongside handlers, however “there’s just still not enough of us there to get to all the bags”.

In recent months, Swissport has contracted labour hire firms Star Aviation and Workfast – the latter of which is not aviation-specific – to fill the shortages in its teams working on Qantas and Jetstar operations. Training and processes differ depending on the airline, with the type of aircraft dictating how luggage is loaded.

The Swissport worker who spoke to the Guardian said about 25% of his colleagues each day were from labour hire firms, many of which do not have specific training. As a result, he said some were cutting corners or doing less thorough work.

“A lot of us get frustrated with them because they don’t do basic stuff properly. Sometimes they just move but don’t scan bags, which is a necessity, because it can mean we don’t know weight distribution in a plane or if a bag has arrived.

“They’ve also been dropping transfer bags on arrival carousels, which is a reason why bags aren’t making it onto flights with passengers,” they said.

The worker said staff attrition was becoming a bigger problem as the airport environment became busier and more demanding, and said many of those who joined Swissport when he did, as well as in subsequent months, had left for jobs either in different industries as well as with other airlines and aviation businesses at Sydney airport that pay more than Swissport does.

They said that while staff were not complaining about the temporary $50 a day bonus for turning up to work, they were still frustrated at conditions. “Swissport is offering anything except permanent wage increases.”

Additionally, in jobs Swissport is advertising in cities such as Brisbane, the company is stipulating new employees spend their first month at Sydney airport – billed as a “great opportunity to experience Sydney” – where it is also paying for their hotel accommodation.

At a recent jobs fair at Sydney airport, Swissport was hiring part-time contracts, but offering workers full-time hours under these contracts, at $23.41 an hour.

The worker said recent coverage of Qantas’s big spends on new ultra-long-haul aircraft for direct flights to Europe had angered tired workers, and Swissport employees were increasingly talking about union organising. “I can’t tell you how frustrating it is seeing Alan Joyce on TVs where we work showing off these shiny new flights.”

The worker also raised concern that during a busy shift recently, when a colleague injured themselves, both the supervisor and manager were busy helping out with other activities, and with no on-site health and safety representative, there was no one to report the injury to.

“I would tell everyone, don’t check in bags when you fly with Qantas right now, or even better if you can avoid it, don’t fly Qantas at all,” the worker said.

Staff shortages and attrition was an increasing problem for ground handler providers and the airlines that rely on them. One industry source told Guardian Australia that in recent weeks, one company started 20 new employees at 9am on a Monday at one Australian airport. By 4pm that day, eight of them had quit, and by the Friday of that week, just seven of the 20 employees remained.

“The young people coming into these roles, they’re getting yelled at, they’re getting paid poorly, and now they’re saying ‘you know what, bugger this, I’m going to work in a cafe because I get paid as much or more than I do here and don’t have the stress’.”

“And those who got sacked during the pandemic are saying they don’t want to go back to the industry that shut on them overnight. So we’ve got this huge void of experience,” the source said.

Michael Kaine from the Transport Workers Union speaks to the media at Sydney airport in April
Michael Kaine from the Transport Workers Union speaks to the media at Sydney airport in April. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP

The Transport Workers Union has long been critical of Qantas’s outsourcing decision, successfully challenging it in the federal court. The TWU’s national secretary, Michael Kaine, said Swissport had “no choice but to keep wages low because Qantas’s squeeze on contracts is neither sustainable nor safe”.

“It is no surprise that Swissport can’t recruit or retain staff. Swissport would rather pay workers an extra $50 a day to show up for work, bring in interstate workers and outsource to companies like Star Aviation than pay proper wages.”

A Qantas spokesperson told the Guardian “resourcing continues to be a challenge for the entire aviation industry” and its ground handling suppliers had “improved significantly since the holiday peak in April”.

“While there’s still a lot more to be done to improve our operational performance, the rate of mishandled baggage has improved in recent months,” the spokesperson said.

A Swissport spokesperson said the company had worked with Qantas to varying degrees for decades because “the scale of our operations means that we can deliver a cost-effective service that is safe and reliable”.

“The rapid rebound in travel demand has put pressure on resourcing across the entire aviation sector, both here in Australia and around the world.”



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