Luxembourgh Times

Luxembourg Airport braces for busy Easter weekend

Passengers urged to arrive well in advance of departure, as airports across Europe report delays due to staff shortages after pandemic cuts

Passengers at Luxembourg Airport

Passengers at Luxembourg Airport © Photo credit: Gerry Huberty

Luxembourg Airport has urged passengers to arrive early for flights and warned that free parking spaces may not be available, in anticipation of busy travel days over the Easter holidays, amid staff shortages at airports across Europe as the travel industry recovers from the pandemic.

The airport said in a tweet on Thursday that it was expecting a "high traffic peak" from Friday as the peak holiday period got underway, advising motorists that "we cannot guarantee that you will get at any time a free parking space at your preferred parking".

The Grand Duchy’s only commercial airport recommended people to pre-book car parking spaces online, and arrive at least two hours before departure even if already checked-in online, in guidance published on its website.

Passengers at several airports in Britain and Ireland, such as Manchester and Dublin, have reported missing flights in recent weeks due to long delays going through security queues.

The aviation industry shed thousands of jobs as the pandemic ground air travel to a halt in 2020, but has struggled to recruit enough staff to cope with the bounce back in demand prompted by the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in many countries.

The Easter surge comes as figures released this week showed that the number of flights in Luxembourg has recovered to near pre-pandemic levels, according to the EU's official statistics agency Eurostat.

Commercial flights in and out of Luxembourg in March were 15% lower than the same month in 2019, the Eurostat data showed, before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, two million passengers travelled from the Grand Duchy, a 40% increase from 2020, when the pandemic shattered two decades of consistent growth in passenger numbers, which were down two-thirds on 2019 levels.

The country's national airline, Luxair, has struggled throughout the pandemic, with CEO Gilles Feith saying he expected the carrier to post a loss for 2021 between €20 and €30 million after recording an operating loss of over €150 million the year before.