Airline asks bosses to work as baggage handlers due to staff shortages

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The scale of staff shortages in the aviation sector has been revealed after an airline asked its executives to carry luggage.

Qantas has written to head office bosses seeking 100 volunteers to quit office jobs for three months and handle bags instead.

They are asked to load and unload baggage, as well as drive vehicles that transport bags between planes and terminals. Candidates must be able to move suitcases weighing up to 32 kg.

Meanwhile, the boss of JetBlue says the low-cost US airline is having to overhire staff because of the rate at which people are leaving the industry.

It comes as the sector grapples with widespread staff shortages as businesses struggle to cope with a strong rebound in demand from the pandemic.

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What happened overnight

Shares fell in Hong Kong this morning, with the Hang Seng index plunging 0.7pc.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4pc and the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second largest stock exchange also fell 0.4pc.

Tokyo stocks traded in a tight range. The benchmark Nikkei 225 opened low, but then rose 0.2%. The broader Topix index pared losses and was down 0.06pc.

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