A bumpy start to the tourist season. | TOBY MELVILLE

Airline passengers were warned today to expect long waits at British airports over the Easter holiday period due to a chronic shortage of check-in staff and security personnel."We do think that there will be queues at peak times over the Easter period," Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, told the BBC.

She said the industry needed to recruit "tens of thousands" of staff as it scales-up after Britain's COVID-19 restrictions on travel were removed.
London's Heathrow airport alone needed another 12,000 staff, she said.
"We've started this process some time a go, but actually with those scale of numbers, particularly in a tight labour market, it is going to take us some time unfortunately," she added.

Earlier this week the Bulletin reported that thousands of British holiday makers could be facing flight delays long immigration queues at UK and Palma airport this season.

Apart from the planned strikes by air-traffic controllers in France and security personnel at German airports which are adding to Mallorca tourism industry concerns, there are other potential problems as well which will also hit the summer.

France is installing a new air traffic control system and this is going to mean that many flights may have to use German airspace until the new French system is up and running and that could lead to flight delays.

Furthermore, concerns have already been raised about long queues at passport control at Palma airport as a result of Brexit.

All non-Spanish residents will have to have their passport stamped on entry and departure and opposition political parties are calling on the government to increase the number of immigration officers at key airports like Palma to prevent massive queues this summer.