The Guardian - Joanna Partridge
CEO says government has rebuffed industry requests as airline reports £133m hit from travel disruption
The boss of easyJet has criticised the government’s refusal to permit more visas for EU cabin crew and ground handling staff, arguing that easing restrictions would relieve pressure on aviation after weeks of travel chaos.
Despite widespread worker shortages and recruitment difficulties for roles including airport security staff and ground handlers, industry requests to allow in more EU citizens to fill the gaps are “not something that they have responded positively to”, Johan Lundgren said.
“We know that there are exemptions being made to allow other groups of workers that are coming in, ballet dancers, circus artists, bakers and so on, but not for aviation staff,” the easyJet chief executive said. “It would help if you could get the visa operation sorted out, of course it would relieve pressure.”
However, he said it did not look like ministers planned to change visa rules for the aviation sector. “That is not something that we have seen that they feel inclined to do at this moment in time.”