Over the upcoming Platinum Jubilee weekend, Birmingham Airport in the UK is preparing for 89% of the numbers who passed through the airport over the 2019 late May bank holiday (May 24 to 27) before Covid-19 took hold.
The four-day weekend will run from June 2 to June 5 and see more than 147,000 people fly in and out of Birmingham Airport. This is 144 times more than over the 2020 late May bank holiday (which ran from May 22 to May 25) when the UK was in Covid-19 lockdown, and more than 10 times the number of passengers over the 2021 May bank holiday when Covid-19 restrictions were still in force.
As a result of travel restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic, 43% of Birmingham Airport’s employees were made redundant. In anticipation of restrictions being lifted, Birmingham Airport began a recruitment campaign back in November 2021. Since the start of 2022, the airport has increased its pool of deployable security officers by 19% and its front-of-house customer service teams by 20%. Recruitment continues at the airport to rebuild its resources to a level that enables it to give the customer service customers expect.
Two years ago, the UK was in the grip of Covid-19 lockdown and stringent travel restrictions had all but switched off aviation. Over the Friday leading up to it and three days of the late May bank holiday itself, just over 1,000 people arrived and departed from the airport. On March 18, 2022, all Covid-19 travel restrictions were scrapped – prompting a strong bounce back in demand, including from people who had been forced to postpone trips due to Covid-19.
Nick Barton, chief executive at Birmingham Airport, said, “We are so pleased to see customers back at BHX again. In the darkest days of lockdown, there were eerie moments when birdsong was the loudest sound on our airfield. Much as I love the sound of birds singing, I’m relieved to hear the buzz of airport activity once again as customers take to the skies in large numbers. I’d like to thank customers who present compliant baggage at our pre-flight security screening – with liquids, gels, pastes and larger electrical items removed. This helps us help you keep moving. It also helps our security officers in their vital task of keeping everyone safe.”