Some flights are arriving at Dublin Airport with 'no baggage loaded' amid manpower shortages, said a ground-handling company

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Unclaimed luggage piles up at London Heathrow Airport on July 8, 2022.
Unclaimed luggage piles up at London Heathrow Airport on July 8, 2022.PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images.
  • Some flights are arriving at the Dublin Airport with no baggage at all, said Sky Handling Partner.

  • Some airlines are choosing "on a daily basis which flights they're not going to load."

  • The Dublin Airport is dealing with lost bags and flight disruptions as travel demand rebounds.

Some flights are arriving at the Dublin Airport with no baggage at all, a ground-handling company told an Irish parliament committee on transport.

Some airlines "choose on a daily basis which flights they're not going to load" due to staff shortages, said Gerard Kenny, a group operations manager at Sky Handling Partners, as reported by the Irish Mirror and TheJournal.ie.

As a result, some flights are arriving at the airport with "with no baggage loaded" at all, Kenny told the committee on Tuesday, per the media outlets.

Kenny likened the situation to "trying to climb a sand dune at the moment in Dublin — as soon as we start to make some progress through baggage, another aircraft could come in missing 60 bags or missing all of its bags, potentially."

The comments came after reports of chaos at Dublin Airport prompted a parliamentary hearing into the situation. Representatives from Sky Handling Partner, ground-handling giant Swissport, Dublin Airport Authority, and Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus appeared before the parlimentary committee on Tuesday.

The groundhandling companies each manage about 10% of baggage at the airport while Aer Lingus is in charge of the remaining 80%, per TheJournal.ie. In all, the baggage handlers are dealing with about 4,200 misplaced or missing bags.

Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton said the issue of lost luggage is particularly pronounced with flights from hubs such as London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schipol, the Irish Times reported. Passengers with connecting flights are at higher risk of losing their bags, she added.

The aviation industry is under fire for a summer of travel chaos amid flight disruptions, lost bags, and general messiness. Issues faced by airlines include staff shortages, absences due to the ongoing pandemic, and bad weather.

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