In the lead-up to the peak summer season, Manchester Airport is providing a progress update on its recruitment drive and reminding passengers of its travel advice.
The UK’s third largest airport is continuing to recover at pace, as it emerges from the pandemic following the removal of international travel restrictions. Passenger volumes have now grown back to 79% of pre-pandemic levels, whereas in January volumes were just 40% of those seen in the same month in 2019. The strong recovery means the airport is now serving around three times more passengers each week than it was in January.
The airport is continuing to advise customers to arrive three hours before their flights, and to ensure they are up-to-speed with the latest rules about what can be carried in hand luggage. At the same time, the airport is also asking passengers not to arrive earlier than this because it can lead to extra queues, and check-in and security facilities may not be open.
With demand returning rapidly, the airport has been working hard to recruit hundreds of new security officers, improve the efficiency of how it deploys the people already working in the operation, and bring in new measures to improve the airport experience for customers and staff.
These have included:
- the full re-opening of Terminal Three which has helped ease congestion
- additional overtime payments to existing colleagues
- the recruitment of hundreds of temporary staff
- a new customer communications campaign ‘Take Time, Take Care, Take Flight’
To date, more than 8,000 applications have been received for roles including security officers, car park marshals and hospitality staff. In the last month alone, more than 1,600 people have applied for jobs and more than 500 people are currently going through background checks and security training. Around 200 new starters are expected to join the operation at Manchester in May, enabling the airport to open additional security lanes during peak periods and improve customer service.
This recruitment drive and a range of other measures have improved the customer experience in recent weeks, with 90% of passengers in the last two weeks getting through security in less than 30 minutes, up significantly from 78% in the first two weeks of April. While the airport is still experiencing longer queues at times, these are happening less frequently and they are being cleared relatively quickly.
The whole aviation sector is facing similar staffing pressures and the airport is also working with partner organisations including UK Border Force, airlines and ground handlers to support their operations at immigration, check-in and baggage reclaim.
Ian Costigan, Interim Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said,“We want to make sure that customers get away on their travels, so everyone at Manchester Airport is focused on bringing in the extra resources we need to continue operating our full flight schedule.
It is encouraging to see new staff joining us as a result of our ongoing recruitment drive, and we have seen security waiting times reduce in recent weeks. The last few weeks have been challenging but the team on the ground has done a great job in getting passengers through security more quickly, and I would like to thank all colleagues for their hard work and dedication.
As we continue to recover, we are reminding customers to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight and to ensure they are familiar with all security rules. While the majority of people will get through security in less than 30 minutes, customers need to allow time for check-in and the possibility that security queues may be longer at peak times.
All of these things will help passengers move through the airport quickly and easily, which is our ultimate goal.”
The airport has also repeated its advice to those set to travel through the airport. As part of a new customer communications campaign, the airport is urging customers to arrive three hours before their flights. But the airport is asking passengers not to come any earlier than this because they will not be able to check-in with their airlines, which could cause unnecessary waits in the terminals. Leaving a three-hour window will enable people to pass through security and make their flights.
Passengers who have not flown for a long time are also being urged to refamiliarise themselves with the security rules. This includes ensuring all liquids, gels and pastes in their hand luggage are under 100ml and out in a clear re-sealable bag. Passengers should remove everything from their pockets, and large electricals should also be taken out of cabin baggage and put into a tray. Rejected bags and trays can add, on average, an additional 12 minutes to a person’s security process, which when multiplied by the thousands of passengers flying through soon adds up to lengthy delays that can easily be avoided.
There are still roles to apply for at the airport and there are several recruitment events set to take place in May including open days at the onsite Airport Academy (10th and 17th May). Staff from the airport will also be attending jobs fairs held in Stoke on Trent (organised by Jack Brereton MP), Altrincham Job Centre (6th May), Rusholme Job Centre (11th May) and Bolton Council’s jobs fair on 26th May.
For information on roles available with MAG click here.
Information about roles with third parties is available directly on their websites or local job sites.