Flight chaos becomes the norm in summer
Air travel is anything but a pleasure at the moment.
© Adobe Stock / _kube_
We regret to inform you that your flight has been cancelled – this is the kind of news more and more travellers are receiving. Especially in Europe, chaotic scenes are taking place at airports: Flights cancelled or postponed, passengers waiting hours for their luggage, and airline hotlines flooded with calls. And according to a new study, this chaos is set to continue throughout the summer.
Airlines fear personnel costs
Credit insurer Allianz Trade says this is mainly due to the airlines’ reluctance to increase staff numbers. Although the airlines urgently need to make up for lost revenue during the Covid crisis, they are now clamping down on costs. The reason? The biggest fixed cost drivers in Europe are wages and salaries. And because the price of fuel – another significant factor – fluctuates and is currently rising, the airlines have little room for manoeuvre when it comes to personnel.
Fuel is becoming even more expensive
So far this year, fuel costs have rocketed by 89 per cent and will likely continue to climb. As a result, ticket prices are also rising. The current analysis by Allianz Trade assumes a price increase of 21 per cent by the end of 2022 compared to the previous year. At the same time, passenger volumes are going up, which will increase the revenues of European airlines by 102 per cent in 2022, according to the forecast. But that will not be enough to offset the loss of the last two years, it said. »We expect most European airlines to get back in the black only in 2023«, said Milo Bogaerts, CEO of Allianz Trade in the DACH region.
Confidence is lost
Staff wages and salaries account for a quarter of the revenue of European airlines (with a global average of 19 per cent). So there is currently little incentive to reverse the staffing cuts made during the pandemic. As a result, flight cancellations are on the rise and will continue to cause chaos at airports and grumbles among travellers. The question now is this: Which airlines will manage to build trust among travellers in this phase?
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