Unlike several European airports where passengers must stand in long queues for staff shortages, strikes and flight cancellations, the international airport in Bratislava reports no such disruptions.
The airport has said people may wait a little longer in cases where several flights are scheduled to depart around the same time.
“We are experiencing a shortage of staff,” Milan Rastislav Štefánik Airport General Director Dušan Keketi also admitted, asking passengers to be patient in such scenarios.
The shortage is the outcome of the pandemic, when dozens of employees decided to quit their jobs at the Bratislava airport.
The airport has already hired 120 part-time workers, and full-time workers have to work extra hours to keep the waiting time to the minimum. Keketi explained that it could take months to train newly-hired workers.
The airport is still hiring new people, including fire fighters and check-in agents.
At present, the airport employs 518 people, which is a 20-percent decline. The number was 631 workers before the pandemic.
Delays at the Bratislava airport are occasional, Keketi said. If they occur, it is due to the rotation of planes during the day or delayed take-offs from airports in Ireland, the UK and other European airports.
The airport also warns that passengers might spend 30 minutes waiting for their luggage at conveyor belts after landing. It is not physically possible to unload the luggage of a charter aircraft in less than 30 minutes, the airport explained.
As for departures, passengers are recommended to arrive at the airport two hours before their flight is scheduled.
One cancelled flight
Bratislava has not registered any cancelled departures or arrivals because of strikes abroad, except for a Ryanair flight to and from Mallorca the past weekend.
This flight was cancelled due to a strike among air traffic controllers in France. The plane was supposed to fly through the country’s airspace.
Last month, more than 100,000 passengers used the services of the Bratislava airport, the highest number in 2022 so far. In May 2021, it was only 3,000 passengers because of coronavirus.