Almost half of all British airport works are seriously considering quitting the aviation industry in yet another blow for the embattled sector. Airlines have struggled to recruit staff following mass layoffs during the pandemic and those who stayed are now looking elsewhere for better paid and more stable jobs.
In a poll of 1,700 airport workers by recruitment site CV-Library, two in five aviation workers or 41.4 per cent of those questioned said they were considering leaving the industry.
“With the industry in such disarray, it comes as no surprise that so many airport workers are considering leaving,” commented Lee Biggins, founder and chief executive of CV-Library. “Attempts to turn things around have so far missed the mark and, with peak season now upon us, urgent action is required.”
The majority of disgruntled employees (58.3%) said they wanted better pay, while a third (33.3%) said their job was too stressful for how much they were currently being paid. A quarter (25%) said they had been burdened with too much responsibility for their current pay grade.
Last week, a top executive at Heathrow Airport slammed airlines for refusing to pay the ‘market rate’ for in-demand airport workers like baggage handlers and check-in staff. The beleagured airport said deep and ingrained cost-cutting by airlines was now scuppering the industry’s ability to recover.
Criticism of the industry continued on Friday when Britain’s largest union sounded the alarm over airline workers suffering from exhaustion and extreme tiredness.
“Too many workers were cut during the pandemic and the reductions to pay and conditions for those that remained made the industry unattractive to new starters,” the Unite union’s national officer for the aviation sector, Oliver Richardson said.
“Sadly further disruption across the aviation sector is inevitable this summer,” Richardson warned.
So far, a wave of threatened strike action by British airline workers has been averted after employers, including British Airways, offered to significantly improve wage offers at the last minute.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.