A boom in travel demand was hampered by pandemic layoffs during which thousands of employees working in travel and hospitality sectors were laid off. Thousands of flights were cancelled, and workers went on strike across Europe as a result.
Due to labor shortages and growing inflation, German pilots, French airport workers, and Italian air traffic controllers have all walked out in recent weeks. Union employees in Paris urged for immediate recruitment with greater compensation to restore staffing levels before the pandemic.
After Dutch airline KLM temporarily suspended inbound European flights in June, chaos flooded terminals with delayed travelers, including Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The airport then imposed a departure cap, which has now been extended until October.
As travel problems and staffing shortages worsen this summer, one of Europe’s busiest airports has extended its passenger limit until the end of October. Heathrow Airport in London announced it will permit no more than 100,000 passengers to come in each day, initially extending a restriction that it said would alleviate summer travel problems in Europe. During peak travel season in July, the travel hub enforced a daily restriction after photographs spread of heaps of misplaced luggage on airport floors and queues whirling for hours around security barriers.
Aviation travel around the world continues to reach 2019 levels, according to FlightAware, which measures airport traffic and recorded a “significant rise” this week in Europe and China compared to last year’s flights.
Some consumer advocacy organizations have faulted the airline industry for failing to plan for the increase. Heathrow announced this week that it had employed 1,300 workers in the last six months. The passenger limit will be reviewed and “may be lifted early” if the situation improved, including a “substantial improvement” in resources, according to the statement made on Monday.
Ross Baker, Heathrow’s chief commercial officer, said: “We want to remove the cap as soon as possible, but we can only do so if we are confident that everyone who works at the airport has enough resources to serve our passengers.” resources for it.”
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