Corporate staff called to help at airports

Phoebe Loomes and Finbar O'Mallon |

Pressure has eased at Australia’s major airports after hundreds of corporate staff were called in to help after major delays caused by worker shortages in the lead-up to the Easter break.

More than 300 corporate staff from Qantas and Sydney Airport worked at terminals on Good Friday, while $1000 “incentive payments” have been offered to security staff who do not take any sick leave in the coming weeks.

On Good Friday queues remained under control, with the wait to pass check-in and security peaking at about 45 minutes.

Qantas continues to deal with a shortage of workers, and a small number of flights departed in recent days without baggage, a company spokeswoman said on Friday.

“Decisions were made to have these flights depart without baggage to ensure that customers could get to their destination and not face long flight delays or cancellations,” she said.

The bags were being put on later flights and then sent to customers by courier.

“We really appreciate people’s patience and understanding and apologise for the inconvenience,” the spokeswoman said.

The airline opened additional security screening lanes at Sydney’s domestic terminal and Jetstar began using larger Boeing 787 Dreamliners, usually reserved for international flights, for its Melbourne to Cairns and the Gold Coast routes.

More than 200 Qantas head office managers are working at airports to assist with worker shortfall.

Some 120 corporate staff from Sydney Airport are also donning green vests and working as support staff over Easter.

Security staff have also been offered $1000 to work every rostered shift throughout the Easter and Anzac period, from last Thursday to April 26, Nine Newspapers reported.

The cash payment is being offered by Singapore-based Certis Security, whose human resources manager Vicky Kotkiewicz said in an email to staff the payment was a thank you.

Staff who miss a shift during this period will not receive the money.

Some 56,000 passengers are expected to pass through Sydney Airport on Easter Saturday, down from close to 80,000 on Good Friday.

Melbourne will handle 76,000 passengers each day over the Easter period while Adelaide is anticipating 25,000 on Friday.

Monday will be Hobart’s busiest-ever day for flights, with more than 81 planes coming and going.

More than four million Australians are planning a trip away this Easter, with 63 per cent travelling within their own state and more than one third heading interstate.

AAP has contacted Certis Group for a comment.