Following the swallowing up of Servisair by Swissport, the EU stepped in. Could it be the EU Commission is the root cause of the baggage problem at Gatwick Airport? This is the 'official statement' then its followed by UNDERCOVER LOADERS take on what is really happening to your luggage!:
Swissport and Aviator signed binding agreement on merger remedies divestment
Swissport International (Swissport) and Aviator signed a binding
agreement regarding the divestment of four stations that were affected by the merger remedies the EU Commission imposed on Swissport in order to get merger clearance for Swissport’s acquisition of Servisair. The closing of the divestment is subject to EU approval.
On 10th April, Swissport and Aviator signed a binding agreement regarding the divestment of the former Servisair ground handling business in Helsinki, London Gatwick, as well as Newcastle and the former Swissport ground handling business in Birmingham.
The divestment had been imposed on Swissport by the EU Commission in order to get merger clearance for the acquisition of Servisair.
The divestment scope includes the former ground handling business at the related stations, incl. passenger and ramp handling, as well as de-icing and lounge services where those are embedded in ground handling commercial agreements.
Swissport will remain a competitive force in the UK and Finland.
The existing Swissport stations in Helsinki, London Gatwick, Newcastle and Birmingham will continue to operate and serve their customers, striving to further strengthen and grow their business.
The acquisition of the three UK stations marks Aviator’s entry into the UK ground handling market and adds to its existing business in Finland.
Meanwhile what is really happening on the ground at London Gatwick, an Airport aiming to get a second main runway...Undercover Loader Tells All!
Swissport Gatwick started a restructure at the turn of the year which included a streamline of our dispatchers and leading hands. The result of the interview process - no practical assessment was included or experience in industry considered - was we lost a great number of very good and very experienced employees some choose to take the redundancy offered a few more than I believe the company expected.
The fallout from this began first with internal and external adverts for new positions of flight and team supervisors, which were quickly snapped up by many, as the job security of a full time contract rather than a 30 hrs per week or agency was a big lure.
The total number now in these roles, far outnumbers the previous number before the streamlining of the operation.
Along with this we also lost a good number of experienced and very well respected ramp supervisors and allocators who were either surplus to requirements or again streamlined to a lesser number which has in the allocators roles been re advertised and filled back to a number larger than when we started the process.
Following this we then had a further 4 new managers installed, meaning on any one day we have a management team of 6+ managers in the business 24/7 this is without the inclusion of a senior manager who over sees them or product/relationship managers.
The saying too many cooks spoil the broth really forces itself to the front in situations like this.
In essence the baggage disasters is down to a complete mismanagement which ultimately cost the general manager his job, obviously he was able to resign as we could show we were wrong.
Many processes and procedures have been put into effect which both hinder and astound the guys out on the ramp.
The job we do is not a difficult one however continuous mismanagement and 'bright new ideas' has messed up the way we work. Unfortunately I feel it may be beyond fixing in its current state. There is a major chance myself, and all the 1,500 others who work at Gatwick will find ourselves either not working, or in the employment if another handling agent.
I appreciate this has gone on for a while and really this only touches on some of the major failings that have taken place.
JULIAN BRAY, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Ops,Travel/Cruise Industry Expert, EQUITY, NUJ UK Tel: 01733 345581 (HOME ISDN NEW NUMBER 01733 345020) e&oe