June 15, 2022 3:35 PM
Norwich Airport bosses are confident there won’t be any flight disruptions during the peak summer season, due to a successful recruitment drive earlier this year.
Holidaymakers flying from airports across the UK, including Stanstead and Heathrow, have suffered long delays and flight cancellations because of staff shortages.
It follows the decision by many companies to lay off large numbers of workers during the pandemic, when the airline industry was largely grounded.
Companies are now struggling to recover their staffing levels now that demand for flights has returned, and there are warnings that similar scenes of chaos could return later in the summer.
But those traveling from Norwich Airport should not encounter any disruptions, the airport has said.
Richard Pace, managing director of Norwich Airport, explained that the business started preparing for the summer season at the beginning of the year when it recruited 60 to 70 new staff to cope with the expected passenger numbers.
“Those people are now trained and in post, so we’ve got the resources we need to manage our summer schedule,” Mr Pace said.
“We’ve not had any of the recruitment or vetting issues that we’ve seen at larger airports, but they might be looking for hundreds of staff.”
Mr Pace said that the reason Norwich Airport hasn’t faced the same problems as other UK airports is “down to scale, locale and competition in the labor market locally”.
He added: “We find among our new recruits that there is an attraction to working at an airport and we’ve seen a wide range of applicants, from younger people looking to start a career to older people who have perhaps decided to retire from their main job and do some part time work instead.
“We’ve had a busy start to the year and are looking forward to the summer.”
Passenger numbers at the airport are currently at 62pc of its pre-Covid level.
The airport highlighted that the reason for this may be due to only flying twice a day to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, while before the pandemic it had four flights scheduled each day.
It is anticipating that demand for flights to Amsterdam will rise now that the USA has relaxed its Covid restrictions for visitors and more people will look to catch connecting flights at Schiphol.
The number of passengers, however, to its summer destinations such as in Greece and Cyprus are up 8pc in May compared to pre-pandemic levels.