International travel from Europe is set to make a good start to recovery in 2022. However, turmoil at many European airports is likely to hamper growth as queues and cancellations are fast becoming the norm in air travel, says GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company states that airlines that don’t adequately prepare for efficient travel returns have resulted in staff shortages.
Hannah Free, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “International departures from European countries are expected to reach 69% of 2019 figures by 2022, according to GlobalData forecasts. While destinations are eager to receive visitors, supply cannot meet demand following severe staff shortages and industry disputes, which have coincided with a resurgence in international travel. “
As well as the observed chaos and cancellations at some airports in Europe, the rise of the travel industry is also struggling with other challenges including inflation, the rising cost of living, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. All of these challenges are likely to significantly reduce the need for travel.
Free continues: “Airports like London Heathrow and Amsterdam’s Schiphol have been forced to ask airlines to reduce flights, while many carriers have had to pre-emptively cull their schedules by the thousands, affecting millions holidaymakers. EasyJet has reportedly cut more than 11,000 flights from its summer schedule. Meanwhile, British Airways has now canceled 13% of its summer schedule, following a statement on July 6, 2022, that the company would cancel another 10,300 short-haul flights by the end of October 2022. .
Both easyJet and British Airways cited staff shortages as the reason for culling flights. However, when looking at British Airways hiring trends, the airline may have failed to prepare adequately for the rebound in travel demand this summer. In November 2021, British Airways announced it would increase its workforce by 15%, adding approximately 4,000 personnel including pilots, cabin crew, ground staff and back-office duties as part of a recruitment drive to prepare for in the recovery of COVID-19.
However, the recruitment drive collapsed after British Airways reportedly cut up to 10,000 jobs during the pandemic. Furthermore, according to hiring trends data in GlobalData’s Job Analytics Database, British Airways did not increase the number of job postings (active jobs) on its career pages until at least March 2022. GlobalData found that active job postings dropped by 18.4% between November 2021 and February 2022.
Free addition: “Although this example looks specifically at British Airways, it should be emphasized that this is an industry-wide issue with massive staff shortages, following cuts during the pandemic, which poses key issues for The interconnected nature of the tourism ecosystem – which sees hotels, airlines, car rental firms, tour operators, cruise lines and others relying on each other while traveling – means that disruption issues any point along this chain has the potential to negatively affect others. Unfortunately, prolonged financial difficulties for a number of industry players are the result of canceled flights. “
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