Sydney Airport said 2.1 million passengers are expected to pass through the facility between June 27 and July 17.
This is compared to 1.8 million during the previous Easter holiday period from April 4 to April 24, which saw airports across the country suffocating amid massive queues and a hand- overloaded work.
The winter holiday complement is expected to be made up of more than 1.5 million domestic passengers, up from 1.39 million in April, and 560,000 international passengers, up from 376,000 at Easter.
“It’s great to see the continued demand for air travel, but we’re not going to sugarcoat the fact that the terminals will be busy during school holidays and there will be queues,” the CEO said. from Sydney Airport, Geoff Culbert.
“We are doing everything we can to get people on their way, including bringing an additional 60 customer service staff into the terminals each day to help manage queues and move passengers in priority order from flight.”
Culbert said all airport businesses were still rebuilding their post-COVID workforce, even as they faced the “tightest job market in nearly half a century”. .
It comes as the Transport Workers Union claimed that 47% of ground staff made redundant by Qantas remained unemployed or underemployed, based on a survey of 1,100 outsourced workers.
“Flights are full, but passengers are waiting because there aren’t enough workers to load their luggage into the hold – while almost half of outsourced workers are still looking for permanent jobs” , National Secretary Michael Kaine said.
However, Qantas said the source of the airport wait time issues – which is not isolated to any airline or country – was down to “COVID absenteeism and a competitive labor market”. .
“We have been very focused on reducing call wait times which have exploded under the volume of calls we were receiving as borders reopened and travel increased,” a spokesperson said in a statement. .
“We have since doubled the number of people working in our call centers and average wait times are now better than they were before COVID.
“We have a lot of confidence ahead of the next school holidays we will see a different result than we saw at Easter because we have 20% more reserve coverage, 15% more people working for our ground handling suppliers and airports are recruiting thousands of people to solve security queuing problems.”
What should passengers do?
The advice to passengers is to arrive as close as possible to two hours before departure for domestic flights and as close as possible to three hours before for international flights, unless advised otherwise by their airline.
“It’s great that passengers arrive well in advance of their flights, but it’s important to arrive as close to the advised times as possible, and not earlier,” said Sydney Airport’s chief operating officer. , Greg Hay.
“Some domestic airlines don’t open baggage check-in until two hours before and if you arrive at the airport too early, you may have an extra wait.”
Peak days are expected to be Mondays, Thursdays and especially Fridays.
“Throughout the day, from early to mid-morning, passenger numbers will decrease in the late morning and afternoon before peaking again in the evening,” Hay said.
In addition to the 60 additional customer service staff, the airport will take other measures to combat heavy traffic, including reconfiguring a queuing system, introducing a priority security screening lane in the international terminal and the provision of an alternative drop-off area for taxis.
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