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5th April 2012
A strike planned by ground staff at Stansted airport for the approaching Easter Weekend has been cancelled. However, airlines are warning of 'border chaos' across the country
A planned strike to run from 6 April (Good Friday) until Easter Monday on 9 April has been cancelled, following successful peace talks.
Swissport, owner of Stansted airport, and unions GMB and Unite released a joint statement yesterday saying: “We are pleased that passengers and families travelling over the Easter Weekend will no longer face potential disruption.” The issues have not yet been fully resolved and talks will continue over the upcoming weeks, they added.
Airlines across the UK, however, have warned of border chaos over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend, due to staff shortages. The British Air Transport Association (BATA), along with 11 UK airlines, have written to the Home Secretary to express their concerns, claiming there are too few border staff to carry out full security checks.
Along with other things, the letter stated: “At peak travel periods, such as the Easter holidays, there is a very real chance of gridlock at UK airports.
“The UK Border Force has been streamlined in recent years with 25% fewer border officers and an increasing emphasis on technology such as passenger e-gates. We fear that this level of resource is incompatible with a return to 100% checks and if left unaddressed will cause congestion at UK airports.”
In contrast, the UK Border Agency has said it is prepared for the weekend ahead: “We’re working with airlines to ensure security is maintained and disruption is minimised. There is no evidence that there is going to be disruption.”
It is estimated that 370,000 will fly from Heathrow airport between Good Friday and Easter Monday, and 200,000 will travel through Gatwick.
Where are you heading this Easter Weekend? A short city break? A stay-cation in the temperamental British sunshine? Let us know your travel plans below
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