Brexit staff shortages are causing travel chaos, explains aviation expert

11 July 2022, 17:10

'We're still not managing to keep up with the sheer demand!'

By James Bickerton

Brexit is making it harder for airports and airlines to recruit staff, adding to shortages that are causing travel chaos, according to a leading recruiter.

UK travellers have been suffering through a summer of misery, with hundreds of flights cancelled due to lack of staff.

Kully Sandhu, managing director of the Aviation Recruitment Network, explained the problem on Shelagh Fogarty's LBC show.

He said: "We're not allowed to have individuals applying from Europe unless they've got the right to work in the UK freely.

"At this time we're not allowed to recruit individuals from Europe.

"We are only relying on individuals who already had the right to work in the UK pre-Brexit and UK citizens.

"The challenge is now we've come into a situation where not only Brexit has taken place, but we've lost a large amount of skillsets from the aviation industry to non-airport businesses."

READ MORE: UK's worst airports for flight delays revealed as Heathrow warns of more cancellations

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Shelagh asked Mr Sandhu directly whether Brexit is a "big issue" in ongoing disruption.

He replied: "It is a big issue, certainly within the hospitality industry.

"Some of my hospitality clientele who are based in UK airports - not only are they struggling to attract individuals to the airports, they're now struggling to actually security clear them so they're losing individuals to other restaurants who are out of these airports.

"If you're explaining to an individual we want to give you a job but it can take up to 6, 7, 8 weeks to security clear you, they want to be working now not in 8, 9 weeks' time."

Earlier this month Michael O’Leary, boss of Ryanair, said airport disruption over this summer is "completely to do with Brexit".

He added: "This government couldn’t run a sweet shop."

READ MORE: 'Disorganised hell' - Chaos at UK airports as holidaymakers face 3-hour security queues