Monarch to terminate Swissport Gatwick contract

Monarch to terminate Swissport Gatwick contractMonarch Airlines is understood to have told baggage-handler Swissport that it is terminating its contract at Gatwick amid continuing problems at the airport.

Monarch has already moved to use alternative provider Menzies at Luton and Birmingham airports, and has put Swissport on 120 days’ notice at Gatwick and Manchester.

Aviation industry sources told Travel Weekly about the move by Monarch following a series of baggage handling delays in recent weeks caused by staffing problems.

Both Monarch and Swissport refused to comment on contractual arrangements. However, it is understood Monarch has already started looking for a new contractor at Gatwick.

The Times has reported that other airlines may follow Monarch’s lead and predicts further chaos this weekend as the big summer getaway continues.

It quoted unnamed airlines as saying the situation could be wore this weekend than during previous pinch points, particularly at peak travel times.

The latest problems at Gatwick occurred last weekend when passengers experienced severe delays late on Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

This followed problems earlier this month, when customers had to wait up to 90 minutes for their bags, and in June.

Swissport issued an apology saying the latest problems came after “a sustained period of consistent baggage handling throughout the busiest day of the year”.

It conceded service levels fell in the early hours of Sunday morning but blamed the volume of delayed arrivals.

In a statement it said: “Despite having already increased our resources to support the off‑schedule activity we were still unable to fully accommodate the handling of off-schedule arriving aircraft during this period.”

A Gatwick spokesman told The Times: “Gatwick is working closely with its airlines to improve the performance of Swissport in line with the airport’s own high standards of passenger service.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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