Potential disruption at Swiss airports as Easter holidaymakers flock
Zurich Airport is expecting to set a new passenger record this spring, as more people head to the airport for an Easter getaway after the end of most COVID travel restrictions. However, some experts are concerned that the sudden surge in passenger numbers could lead to significant delays and disruption at airports in Switzerland.
2022 already saw plenty of travel chaos in Swiss airports
Last year, staffing shortages caused long delays at airports around the world like Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands and Chicago Midway International Airport in the US. Zurich and Geneva were the Swiss airports most affected by staff shortages in 2022, and many airlines operating out of Switzerland were affected by sporadic strikes abroad.
According to Blick, passengers are already beginning to see large queues for security at Zurich Airport ahead of the Swiss Easter holidays, with the newspaper also reporting that there were long waits at passport control for arrivals in Basel earlier in March. "All flights are delayed because of [rubbish] like this, and many people miss their flights", one frustrated reader told Blick.
Swiss airports appear to downplay capacity concerns
Despite this, Swiss airports are not expressing overt concern about any capacity issues. "As before Corona, extended waiting times during peak departure times cannot always be avoided…It's advisable to be at the airport between two and three hours before departure”, Elena Stern, the spokesperson for Zurich Airport, told Blick.
"At Flughafen Zürich AG there is no acute shortage of staff, and we basically have enough staff on duty", Stern told the newspaper. However, shortages of staff working for the Swiss police - personnel that run security and passport control - could still cause issues at the airport.
To help plug the staff shortages, "Four courses for control personnel are planned for 2023," police spokesman Florian Frei told Blick. These courses aim to train new permanent and temporary staff to ensure that airport operations can run smoothly.
Image: Shutterstock.com / Thamrongsak.S