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Malaysia Airlines CEO: Aviation sector labour shortage needs one year to recover

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 Izham said the aviation industry worldwide is still reeling from a staffing problem due to the pandemic. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (June 15): The aviation industry worldwide is still reeling from a staffing problem due to the pandemic that will take between six months and a year from which to recover, according to Malaysia Airlines group chief executive officer Izham Ismail.

He said the manpower shortage is evident not only in Malaysia and its South-east Asian neighbours like Singapore but also in Europe, the Straits Times reported today.

“People are not attracted to come back to an airline environment, because first of all, airlines are very volatile.

“We retrenched people during the pandemic and [when]we try to call them back … they think twice,” he was quoted telling a panel discussion at the Aviation Festival Asia in Singapore yesterday.

Izham was also reported saying that many former aviation industry workers had moved on to taking up gig jobs.

As such, he said airlines and airports need to work together to fill up the vacancies, which include ground staff roles.

“Resources are our main issue … airlines cannot [restore]the capacity back as quickly as they want to,” the Singapore newspaper quoted Izham saying.

Last month, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said air passenger traffic in Malaysia is expected to have a recovery this year of 30 to 45 per cent from the pre-pandemic air passenger traffic levels in 2019. — Malay Mail