Why are there so many canceled flights across Europe – The Post


Why are there so many canceled flights across Europe – The Post
Written by aquitodovale

In recent weeks, several airlines around the world have canceled many flights they had planned, and in some cases have announced that they will be forced to cancel more in the coming months. These decisions have already caused great inconvenience for travelers, especially in Europe where the majority of canceled flights are currently concentrated, but similar situations are also occurring in the United States. The cancellations all have roughly a common reason, namely the lack of staff.

Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, many airlines had decided to cut part of the seats, first of all sacking some of the ground staff, considered non-essential when the number of travelers had clearly decreased, and in some cases also pilots and assistants. of flight. But now that restrictions on international travel are less and less and people have begun to travel by air again, many companies have found themselves unprepared and have not been able to find staff to take over from the one who was fired. This has already caused several problems and is expected to create more during the summer, when a significant increase in the number of people traveling for tourism is expected.

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John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of the company that operates London’s Heathrow airport, commented on this situation by telling the Financial Times that this year, travel bookings have returned to rise “much faster” than the industry’s ability to adapt. According to Holland-Kaye, the sector in the last two years has gone through “an existential crisis” from which it is struggling to recover due to the lack of revenues and the very high fixed costs that companies have to continue to bear.

The first signs of what could happen during the summer had already been seen a couple of weeks ago in the United Kingdom, where two days of celebration close to a weekend had put many airports in the country in crisis: on the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee, that is the celebrations for the 70 years of reign of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, two days of national holiday had been established for Thursday 2 and Friday 3 June, which combined with the weekend had given the possibility to British citizens to make a long holiday bridge . But the airlines had not been able to find enough staff in time for those days, and at the last moment they had had to cancel many flights.

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Also in the United Kingdom in the following days, several airlines had announced dozens of other flights canceled daily: one of those that canceled the largest number of flights was the British low-cost EasyJet, one of the companies most in crisis recently (at the beginning of May he had also announced that he would remove the last row of seats from some of his planes, in order to employ fewer flight personnel).

But the problems did not stop in the United Kingdom, and last week also the German Lufthansa announced that in July it will have to cancel about a thousand national and international flights, also managed by its subsidiaries Eurowings, Swiss Air and Brussels Airlines, again due to the lack of staff.

In Italy on June 8 some airlines had to cancel more than 300 flights due to a strike called by the staff: also in this case the economic crisis due to the pandemic had to do with it. The trade unions had in fact motivated the strike with the poor contractual and working conditions to which pilots, flight attendants and other employees of the companies are subjected, which have worsened in recent months after the savings operations and the layoffs decided to face the crisis . Unions have warned that if there are no concrete actions to improve conditions for workers, there could be new strikes in the coming weeks.

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