Bag­gage chaos looms at UK air­ports

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - TRAVEL NEWS - Hugh Mor­ris

Christ­mas travel chaos loomed for four ma­jor UK air­ports this week as a Swedish bag­gage han­dling firm re­spon­si­ble for dozens of air­lines pre­pared to cease its Bri­tish op­er­a­tions. The move by Avi­a­tor, ear­marked for the end of Novem­ber, would leave Gatwick, Birm­ing­ham, Manch­ester and New­cas­tle air­ports short of 1,700 staff.

Oliver Richard­son, of Unite, the union that rep­re­sents the work­ers,

said: “It is a se­ri­ous con­cern for 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.”

A spokesper­son for Avi­a­tor said: “We com­pletely un­der­stand the de­sire for more clar­ity on plans. We are in dis­cus­sions with a large num­ber of stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing air­lines, to en­sure that this process is orderly. Our fo­cus is on max­imis­ing em­ploy­ment and meet­ing the needs of our air­line cus­tomers while min­imis­ing dis­rup­tion.”

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