Baggage handling services secure says Algarve tourism chief

Algarve Tourism chief Nuno Aires has said he has been assured that passengers using Faro airport will be not be affected by the decision of a major ground handling company to pull out of the region.

Speaking to the Algarve Resident on November 12 in the wake of the news that Groundforce was closing its Faro base with the loss of 336 jobs, Nuno Aires said: The Algarve Tourism Board deeply regrets the sudden announcement by Groundforce and the dismissal of its employees. We have been assured that this decision will not affect airport ground operations.”

Meanwhile, Portugal’s Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity, Maria Helena dos Santos André, said a full investigation into the collective dismissals would be carried out “to analyse the reasons behind the decision”.

Baggage handling company Groundforce is closing its operation at Faro airport from January 1, 2011 (for full story, see the ALGARVE NEWS SECTION –

Cutting the Faro operation will cut the 2010 losses by around €8 million, the company says, and it was an “indispensable condition” to make the TAP-owned business viable and protect the remaining 2,000 employees at Lisbon, Porto and Madeira airports.

Employees were informed of the decision by email and will now meet to decide what action to take in protest against this decision.

Two other ground handling companies operate at Faro – Portway and Servisair.