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The service situation at airports may deteriorate as the COVID-19 wave progresses

Article published
5.1.2022 at 13:49
Terminaaliopas ohjaa matkustajaa.
Finavia continuously monitors airport operations through its Airport Operational Status (AOS) system, which includes approximately 4000 users from hundreds of service providers operating at airports. The daily assessment of sickness absences and employee numbers has now been included in the monitoring.

“The companies at the airport are doing their best and are able to provide services so that passengers can depart on trips and return home. However, the companies at the airport have reported illnesses and quarantines among their staff,” says Jani Ceder, Head of Airport Operations Centre at Finavia.

According to Ceder, the additional work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the significant number of sickness absences, means that problems have started to occur in the airport services. The functions that affect passenger services most:

  • check-ins and checking COVID-19 certificates (airlines with their ground handling partners)
  • security control (Finavia together with its service providers)
  • departure gate services (airlines with their ground handling partners)
  • border control and checks on entry conditions (Finnish Border Guard)
  • health examinations, tests and checking COVID-19 certificates upon arrival in the country (health measures of the municipalities and cities, for example, at Helsinki Airport: the City of Vantaa)
  • baggage claim upon arrival (airlines with their ground handling partners)
  • services for passengers with reduced mobility (Finavia together with its service provider)

“If the sickness absences of different service providers continue to increase, in the worst-case scenario, we might even be forced to close some small airports. We communicate changes in the service situation of the airports on our website and on social media. You should check the instructions before your trip,” says Ceder.

Finavia's own employees have so far been able to avoid significant sickness absences and quarantines.

Arriving at the airport on time and a touch of patience

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to exceptional arrangements at the airports, such as the checking of COVID-19 certificates and internal border controls. They take up more time than usual and are reflected in queues to other service points.

Passengers are asked to arrive at the airport on time and to be prepared for queues and long waiting times, especially during the busiest hours. When there are a lot of passengers, crowds are inevitable. In queuing situations, you can enjoy your travel with a touch of patience.

“Since spring 2020, Finavia has required that everyone who visits the airports wears a mask. It provides protection in crowds. It is also important to ensure good hand hygiene. We have installed hundreds of hand sanitiser stations throughout the terminal. I would like to remind people not to travel if they are ill,” says Ceder.

Instructions for air travel during COVID-19 are available on Finavia's website.

For more information about Finavia's AOS system, read our article.

The weather may also have an impact on air traffic. For an example, read our release.

Also read our release about the impact of restaurant restrictions on airport services.

Updated on January 12, 2022: The additional work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the significant number of sickness absences, is effecting services at airports.

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