The authorities is beneath mounting strain so as to add aviation jobs to its Shortage Occupations checklist – lowering hurdles for EU employees to assist fill gaps at overstretched airports and airways.
On Tuesday alone British Airways cancelled nearly 120 flights to and from Heathrow, whereas easyJet has up to now grounded 60 departures to, from and within the UK – affecting an estimated 10,000 passengers.
Meanwhile the federal government insists that airways and airports are accountable, and says Brexit offers big advantages for UK air passengers.
These are the important thing questions and solutions.
What’s the issue?
Since journey restrictions for arrivals to the UK have been lifted 12 weeks in the past, the UK aviation business has struggled to fulfill the demand for flights. British Airways and easyJet, specifically, have been cancelling greater than 100 flights between them each day.
In addition, passengers have had some dismal experiences at UK airports, significantly queuing for the safety search operation.
Ground dealing with has been stretched, too, with lengthy delays loading and unloading baggage from plane – and offering particular help to passengers with lowered mobility.
What has Brexit acquired to do with it?
Paul Charles, chief government of The PC Agency and a journey business advocate, says: “We calculate that some 30 per cent of jobs in the UK aviation sector were filled by EU citizens before the pandemic – which was before the Brexit withdrawal agreement took effect at the start of 2021.
“The industry now needs to attract those EU workers back but the government won’t help the sector and continues to put up hurdles to hiring.
“It is unacceptable to limit aviation’s ability to fill the much-needed roles in airports and at airlines, and is simply leading to airlines cancelling flights despite the consumer appetite to travel. Government has to do its bit to free up fresh talent.”
Other senior figures within the journey business have added their weight to the calls. Gemma Antrobus, Specialist Travel Agents’ chair of the Association of Independent Tour Operators, instructed Wake Up to Money on BBC 5 Live: “Brexit happened right in the middle of an international travel ban for our industry, at the time that we exactly left the EU.
“It then proceeded with five-and-a-half months of it being illegal to travel.
“So we never really saw that impact straight away. But losing so many skilled workers … has meant a contributing factor to the situation we find ourselves in.”
What precisely is the journey business calling for?
Ms Antrobus says: “Bringing back in some skilled workers from the EU who would have the right clearances, who have done these jobs before here or in other countries.”
By filling jobs on the Shortage Occupations checklist, European Union residents – and employees from elsewhere on this planet – can apply for a low-cost working visa, and in addition face lowered hurdles for the wage required.
Existing occupations embrace care employees, engineers, vets, ballet dancers, graphic designers and welders.
What does the federal government say?
The authorities’s place on aviation after leaving the EU is: “Brexit is enabling us to improve the experience of UK air travellers.”
In the context of the present disaster, ministers consider the airline and airports must kind themselves out. A authorities spokesperson mentioned: “The aviation industry is responsible for making sure they have enough staff to meet demand, and we have been clear that they must step up recruitment to make sure disruption is kept to a minimum.
“In addition, using our post-Brexit freedoms, we have changed the law to provide the sector with more flexibility when training new employees, which will help it to fill vacancies more quickly.
“We have also worked with Border Force to ensure preparations meet passenger demand.”
What does transport secretary Grant Shapps say?
His most up-to-date message on Twitter was: “Boris Johnson has my support -–we must back him to get on with the job of delivering for the British people.”
On the topic of the tens of 1000’s of airline passengers stranded in numerous components of Europe, Mr Shapps has specifically ruled out filling gaps in the sector by amending the government’s Shortage Occupation List to include aviation.
He instructed the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: “The answer can’t always be to reach for the lever marked ‘More immigration’.
“There is not some pull that is going to relieve this.”
Mr Shapps added that the Brexit vote had been about shifting away from hiring “cheap labour from somewhere else”.
How is Brexit serving to UK airline passengers?
The authorities says it has been in a position to calm down a number of the guidelines for safety clearance whereas a job applicant is being educated.
More broadly, in its publication The Benefits of Brexit, the federal government says leaving the EU means “a better experience for UK air travellers”:
- growing protections, comparable to entry to compensation
- enhancing competitors
- broaden passenger alternative
- improve home connectivity to degree up the UK
Do these advantages exist?
No. The authorities is consulting on lowering passenger compensation for home flights.
Competition and passenger alternative has been sharply lowered because of the variety of flight cancellations.
Domestic connectivity is way lowered, with a mean of 24 cancelled home flights day by day on British Airways alone.