Manchester Airport’s biggest shareholder speaks out amid chaos – but no apology given

Gemma Atkinson caught in Manchester Airport chaos

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Australian investment fund IFM has spoken out amid the travel chaos that continues to face British airports. In Manchester aiport especially, passengers have had to wait hours to go through security amid flight delays and cancellations.

Investment fund IFM is the joint biggest shareholder in Manchester Airports Group (MAG).

It offered no apology for the ensuing chaos at its airport, but it said it sincerely regretted the impact delays were having on travellers.

The company went on to say it was working with the MAG senior management team to “resolve the issues”.

It said that labour shortages were to blame as many employees have been absent due to Covid-related sicknesses.

An IFM sposkesperson said: “We sincerely regret the impact these delays are having on passengers and customers.

“We are supporting the MAG management team as they work to resolve the issues as quickly as they can, understanding the significant impact that labour shortages are having on the aviation and other industries at this time.”

The statement comes at the same time as Charlie Cornish, the chief executive of MAG, wrote an open letter in which he apologised to passengers.

He also warned travellers could face peak-time queues of up to 90 minutes over the next few months.

Mr Cornish said: “The simple fact is that we don’t currently have the number of staff we need to provide the level of service that our passengers deserve.

“I also want to be clear that a huge amount of work is going into improving the situation in the short-term.

“Our focus for the next four weeks is on delivering a more predictable and reliable level of service for passengers.”

The chief executive added that a huge recruitement process, driven by MAG, is currently underway to employ more staff.

The company has interviewed “more than 4,000 people” for a variety of roles at the airport over the last two months alone.

Many successful interviewees have already started, with a further 250 new hires expected to start in early May following security vetting and training.

Passengers have faced long delays at Manchester airport for days now.

Earlier this week, queues trailed outside terminals to reach check-in desks and crowds of people waited to get through security and pick up luaggage.

The airport’s managing director, Karen Smart, decided to resign from her role on Tuesday.

These delays come at the same time as flight cancellations.

Both British Airways and easyJet have been forced to cancel more than 100 flights between them this week.

Today, British Airways axed 68 flights, while easyJet cancelled 42 – disrupting the travel plans of thousands.

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