Plenty of airline and airport staff are changing industries during the pandemic. Then comes the surge in air travel. But the aviation industry is not ready. The effects can now be seen in the holiday month of July of all times: a number of flights have been cancelled.
Lufthansa and its subsidiary Eurowings are cutting their flight schedule in the holiday month of July due to a lack of staff in-house and at ground and airport service providers. Lufthansa has removed 900 flights within Germany and Europe at the hubs in Frankfurt and Munich from the system for July, the airline announced on request. The cancellations affect the weekdays Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which corresponds to five percent of the planned capacity on the weekends. Eurowings is also canceling several hundred flights to stabilize the offer for the month of July.
The entire aviation industry, especially in Europe, is currently suffering from bottlenecks and a lack of staff - from passenger control to aircraft handling and flight attendants. There is a lack of employees who looked for other jobs during the pandemic. Lufthansa and Eurowings have implemented numerous measures to ensure the greatest possible stability of the flight schedule, Lufthansa emphasized. "However, it is foreseeable that due to the bottlenecks, the flight plans cannot be flown as hoped." Passengers would be informed immediately of any cancellations and, if possible, rebooked on other Lufthansa or Eurowings flights. Alternatively, passengers in Germany could travel to the airports by train.
The airline asked passengers to be at the airport in good time during the upcoming holiday season and to use online check-in and check-in the night before if possible. Hand luggage should be reduced to the essentials to avoid long waiting times at security checks. After flight cancellations at major European airlines on the Pentecost weekend as a result of staff shortages, concerns about chaotic conditions during the peak travel season had grown. After departures and layoffs in the pandemic, the industry does not yet have enough workers employed and operational to cope with the rush of travel.
"Across all locations, the service providers involved in handling passengers are missing around 20 percent of the ground staff compared to the pre-Corona period. This can lead to bottlenecks, especially at check-in, when loading suitcases and at air security checks at peak times," said the general manager of the airport association ADV, Ralph Beisel, recently.
(This article was first published on Wednesday, June 08, 2022.)