European Airlines & Airports Working to Avoid Travel Chaos Next Summer
After dealing with delays and cancellations all summer long, the European airlines and airports have now joined forces to find solutions so that such a thing does not happen again next year.
The industry leaders met last Wednesday at the headquarters of the air traffic control agency Eurocontrol, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“We found ourselves more in the news than we would have wished over the summer,” the director general of the airports association ACI Europe, Olivier Jankovec, pointed out in this regard.
Thousands of flight cancellations have taken place over the last summer, and many more are due to happen because of staff shortages and strikes, forcing some airports to impose capacity restrictions.
Commenting on the issue, the chief executive of Wizz Air, Jozsef Varadi, said that this past summer was not wonderful and should not be repeated, adding that the appropriate resources should be placed in the system to face the challenges.
“For the budget carrier, that may mean unusually recruiting more people than it needs for the time being. We are redesigning the operating model to make sure that we build more slack in the system, so we’re going to be losing some efficiency,” he also noted.
Airports are also rapidly increasing salaries or distributing recruitment bonuses for hiring workers laid off during the pandemic. With the new economy, many workers have lost their jobs, such as ride-sharing.
In addition, no estimate was given by the officials of the total cost of making the network more resilient to delays, although the airports said they were facing a funding shortfall of seven billion.
At the same time, the general secretary of the European Transport Workers’ Federation, Livia Spera, said those left behind were exposed to “unprecedented levels of violence” as tempers rose over the summer.
As the airlines explain, they are squeezed between regulations that require them to compensate customers for delays and bear the full cost of disruption from a long list of suppliers, from manufacturers to airports, air traffic controllers, or ground operators.
Complaints also come from airports, which claim that they have not received the state support available to traditional carriers. Regarding the rules for using airport slots during the winter, airlines and airports are once again in a dispute over such a thing.
As a result, Eurocontrol called for measures to mitigate the impact of the attacks due to a surprise one-day operation that closed most of the French airspace in September.