Manchester Airport reputation 'nosediving' as delays continue – BBC


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The reputation of Manchester Airport is "nosediving" as "chaotic" scenes caused by delays continue, a councillor says.
Passengers have faced long queues for check-in and security throughout March.
Councillor Pat Karney, from Manchester City Council which jointly owns the airport, has called for an "urgent meeting" to ensure "everything possible is being done".
Manchester Airport said staff shortages and sickness had put operations "under extreme pressure".
Mr Karney is calling for an urgent meeting between shareholders of the airport, which include the nine other Greater Manchester councils and an investment company.
"We have to get this right as the reputation is nosediving," he said.
"We are realistic that the airport was closed down for two years and there will be problems and challenges about getting it back on its feet.
"I think we have a public duty as a council to check this out. We want to know what their extra planning is about getting extra staff and incentivising staff.
"In the short term they may have to pay bigger bonuses to people to do extra work."
Labour councillor Mr Karney said he hoped a meeting with stakeholders would give "extra scrutiny" of airport recruitment plans.
"The airport reputation is being trashed and we need to see if we can stop that," he told BBC Radio Manchester.
"We have got to get this right."
An airport spokesman apologised to customers affected and said staff recruitment was already underway but the situation had been "exacerbated" by a recent increase in staff illness.
"We are experiencing staff shortages as we – and the rest of our industry – work hard to keep pace with a significant surge in demand for travel after the removal of restrictions in recent weeks," he added.
"There has been a large increase in passenger numbers following the start of the travel industry's summer season, and the situation has been exacerbated by a significant spike in Covid-related sickness in recent days.
"That has meant that, while waiting times were kept to a minimum for the majority of the weekend, these factors have combined to place our operation under extreme pressure this morning."
The airport said the situation was expected to improve in April, by which time 400 new recruits will have completed training and security clearances.
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