Jobs at risk at Jersey Airport after ground-handling firm loses British Airways contract

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AT least 15 jobs are understood to be at risk at Jersey Airport after British Airways did not renew its contract with local ground handling agents Airline Services.

The company has contacted staff in the past few days to warn them that their jobs are now ‘at risk of redundancy’, following the BA decision which brings to an end a 26-year relationship with the airline.

Managing director Bob Wickings confirmed that they had been unsuccessful in their tender and would no longer be involved in ground handling for British Airways, with the result that all their staff had been put at risk of redundancy.

He declined to say exactly how many were involved, adding that there were a number of zero-hour-contract staff in addition to those with permanent contracts.

‘We are still reeling from the shock and putting things in place,’ he said, adding that it was a ‘sad end’ to a relationship with British Airways which began when the local company was established to take over in-house ground handling arrangements previously undertaken by the airline.

‘My thoughts are with the staff. Their commitment has been outstanding over the last 26 years. I am very upset but that is business at the end of the day,’ Mr Wickings said.

He added that Airline Services would continue to have a presence at Jersey Airport but would not be involved in ground handling, something which would affect their relationship with CityFlyer and Aurigny. ‘We will have jobs for some of the staff,’ he said.

One of those affected – who did not want to be named – described their employer as ‘a brilliant company’. ‘We are all very upset as we have given BA an amazing service over the years. Some of the staff have been working for more than 20 years. We are very sad,’ they said.

Airport Director Robin MacRae said: ‘As a result of the decision by British Airways to change their handling agent provider in Jersey, Ports of Jersey will be working closely with all parties involved and monitoring the transition process.

‘Where appropriate, we will offer our support to those organisations and staff that need it, as the impact of this decision by BA is fully understood.

No impact on passengers is expected, as rigorous standards are in place for every handling agent operating at the airport.’

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