By ILARIA GRASSO MACOLA, cityam
Airport service provider Swissport has threatened to take airports to court following the ongoing reduction in the number of daily flights at European hubs.
“I think that there’s going to be some challenges, I suspect legally, to putting caps on airlines,” said chief executive Warwick Brady.
“We recruited enough people for the summer schedule and they cut the schedules, so we now have too many people. We are going to have a cost overhang because they are cutting.”
Brady’s comments come after several European airports axed services to guarantee smoother operations as labour shortages led to increased disruption, cancelled flights and hour-long queues over the last few weeks.
Gatwick said on Friday the number of daily flights would go down from more than 900 to 825 in June and 850 in July, while Heathrow announced today it had asked airlines operating from terminals 2 and 3 to cut down 10 per cent of services.
UK airports are not the only ones to be affected as Amsterdam Schiphol is looking to cut 16 per cent of flights during the peak season.
According to Dutch news agency ANP, legacy carrier KLM will absorb around half of the airport’s total reductions.
Unlike Swissport, John Menzies’ corporate affairs director John Geddes said the company was more inclined to work with the wider industry to fix the issues.
“We must work together to restore passenger confidence and, while capping flights has the potential to impact our revenues, we are not considering any action against airports as we believe working together to find long-term solutions is the best way forward,” Geddes said.
Geddes’s remarks were echoed by aviation analyst Sally Gethin, who said: “It’s important that the aviation industry works together to resolve the current problems.
“Collaboration is key to overcoming congestion and maintaining efficient operations.”