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Airports Clogged With Queues as Travel Rebound Strains Resources

  • Labor shortage after Covid is new headache for aviation sector
  • Long queues expected as long Easter holiday weekend approaches
Travelers queue to check-in at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London on April 4.

Travelers queue to check-in at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London on April 4.

Photographer: Steve Parsons/PA Images/Getty Images

Understaffed airports and airlines from Australia to Europe are struggling to cope with a fresh rush of travelers, with long queues and flight disruptions expected to persist as the busy Easter weekend approaches. 

Passengers checking in at Sydney Airport this week have waited for hours in queues snaking outside terminals. Staff absences are running as high as 50% at Qantas Airways Ltd., while the airport’s workforce is little more than half its normal size. The U.K. has also been hit by disruptions and flight cancellations.