Ahead of the busiest weekend for international travel in two years, Manchester Airports Group chief executive Charlie Cornish has apologized to passengers for the “queues and congestion they’ve experienced during recent weeks”.

Manchester, the third-busiest airport in the UK after Heathrow and Gatwick, has had extremely long security waits in recent months, with some passengers missing their flights and other departures delayed in the meantime. people stuck in traffic.

Mr Cornish wrote: “I apologize to anyone who has been affected by the disruption. in an online letter.

“We are committed to engaging customers on their travels, especially as we know that many people have been waiting a long time to return to international travel.

“Having endured the worst crisis in our 84-year history, I can assure you there is no one more pleased to see passengers returning to our terminals than we are.” “We had to cut costs just to survive – it was as simple as that,” he explains. We reduce spending wherever we can, and as a last resort we have to offer colleagues the option of voluntary fallback because of uncertainty about when international travel will resume.”

Mr Cornish said the “incredible” recovery in international travel means the airport is currently understaffed.

“We don’t currently have the staff needed to provide the level of service our passengers deserve.

“Despite our efforts since last fall, the tight labor market around the airport means we can’t recruit quickly enough to form a full-fledged team.

“In fact, staff shortages mean we can’t open all the security lanes we need and sometimes this leads to queues that are longer than we would like. While we still expect most passengers to be able to get through in less than 30-40 minutes, there will be times over the next few months when waiting times will increase to between 60 and 90 minutes.”

“Currently, we are advising passengers to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight departs, to allow enough time to check in, go through security, and reach the departure gate.

“The short-term alternative is to limit capacity and let airlines cancel flights, as other airports and airlines are doing.

“But this will cause huge disruption to long-awaited vacations, business trips and visits to see friends and family. We don’t think cancellations are what our customers want to see. While we know they don’t want long queues either, we are committed to operating all flights safely and know that the steps we are taking will improve service levels week by week.” .

More staff are being recruited and managed “with the right level of security” being used to support the operation.

The chief executive’s announcement coincided with his counterpart at the Civil Aviation Authority, Richard Moriarty, writing a letter to the UK’s airport requesting that “any disruption involves staff” that you are experiencing is short-lived.”

Mr Moriarty wrote: “After the stress and difficulty of the past two years, millions of UK consumers are looking forward to leaving and I am sure you share our vision for road travel. complex, accessible aviation for 2022 and beyond.”

British Airways and easyJet have so far canceled a total of 100 flights on Friday, affecting around 15,000 passengers.

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