Passengers using Birmingham Airport in the run up to Christmas are being warned of potential chaos after a baggage handling firm pulled out of the transport hub.
Scandinavian firm Aviator has decided to withdraw 196 staff from Birmingham Airport and hundreds more at Gatwick, Manchester and Newcastle.
Aviator has a deal in place with 14 airlines, including Air India, American and Monarch, to handle bags from their planes using Birmingham Airport but the company is planning to close its operations there from November 30.
Trade union Unite is calling on the airlines to take on the staff or for the airports to employ them directly, something Birmingham has not done for decades.
Unite said the decision had been taken because Aviator, which employs around 1,700 staff across the four airports, was not making money and called for clarity about what Aviator planned to do to ensure smooth continuity of check-in, refuelling and baggage handling services.
This is the latest in a series of issues surrounding baggage handling at Birmingham Airport.
In August, passengers had to wait two hours to collect their belongings after staff shortages with Aviator left passengers fuming over the busy bank holiday weekend.
And a similar fate befell those travelling to Birmingham Airport in mid-September.
Oliver Richardson, Unite's national officer for civil air transport, said: "Unite will be seeking assurances from the company, airlines, other handlers and, ultimately, the airports that there will be no compulsory redundancies.
"It is a matter of serious concern for both our members and the travelling public that, so close to Christmas, most of the airlines have not announced where their baggage handling and check-in contracts are going.
"The airport owners and the airlines, which require these services for their planes to land and take-off efficiently, need to get their skates on to sort this out, without any detriment to the staff jobs, pay and conditions, otherwise Christmas travel chaos is on the cards."
Aviator had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.