Airlines prepare for possibility for strikes at UK airports

Etihad and Emirates reassured passengers travelling to Britain on Friday that contingency plans are in place should a proposed strike by British check-in, baggage handlers and cargo staff proceed.

An industrial dispute involving workers at UK airports could affect travellers who fly with Etihad and Emirates. Matt Dunham / AP Photo
Powered by automated translation

DUBAI // Etihad and Emirates have reassured passengers travelling to the UK on Friday that contingency plans are in place should a proposed strike by check-in, baggage handlers and cargo staff go ahead.

There is uncertainty if the proposed 48-hour strike by more than 1,500 Swissport staff across several British airports will take place.

Media reports in the UK said talks aimed at settling a dispute over pay and conditions are due to be held between officials from the Unite union and Swissport on Tuesday.

“Etihad Airways is aware of potential industrial action at airports in the UK and Northern Ireland later this month,” said Etihad.

“The airline continues to monitor developments closely and will implement contingency plans to minimise any disruption to our operations and to our guests should this materialise.”

A spokesman for Emirates said: “As it stands, no affect to Emirates operations. However, we will be monitoring the developments closely.”

At present it is unclear how many UK airports will be affected if the strike goes ahead but it has been reported that airlines at Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh in Scotland together with Liverpool, Newcastle, the Manchester airports, Heathrow, Stansted and Leeds/Bradford in England employ staff from the company.