UK baggage handlers sought for Jersey airport

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SWISSPORT, which is responsible for all ground handling at Jersey Airport, is recruiting more seasonal workers from the UK to make up for staff shortages in the Island.

A job posting on Swissport’s website advertises the role specifically to UK-based staff, who would be hired on a fixed-term contract and paid £10.64 an hour.

This is 14p over Jersey’s minimum wage and 22p over the UK minimum wage for those aged 23 or over.

An advert for an equivalent position, aimed at Jersey-based candidates, offers pay of £13.16 an hour.

Some UK staff are already working as ground handlers at Jersey Airport.

The advert offers accommodation in the Island in a B&B or hotel, transport to and from the Airport and breakfast and dinner included while on shift. Staff would work four days on, four days off, according to the job posting.

The recruitment campaign follows disruption earlier this month when a number of passengers suffered delays after landing at Jersey Airport, with one family left waiting for a wheelchair for 1½ hours.

Another passenger, Howard Snow, told the JEP that he was travelling back from visiting his son in Singapore with his wife and had not experienced any issues until he touched down in Jersey.

Describing how he had to wait for nearly two hours to collect their luggage, he said: ‘We’d already been travelling for 17 hours and then to sit an hour and three quarters, I was quite frayed at the end of that time.

‘My friend had been sitting outside in the short-stay car park for two hours.’

Responding to concerns about long waiting times for passengers, a Swissport spokesperson said: ‘We are continuing to work with our airline partners and the Airport to improve turnaround times.

‘This includes bringing additional personnel from Swissport’s mainland UK operational teams.’

The spokesperson also apologised to passengers who had experienced delays.

During the Covid pandemic, Swissport laid off more than half of its 100-strong workforce. At the time, the company shared responsibility with the locally owned ground handling company Airline Services, which ceased operating last year.

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