Passengers across Europe will suffer from ongoing travel issues, Airports Council International (ACI) confirmed last week.
Following the chaotic events at Schiphol Airport this week and the hundreds of canceled flights in the UK and Ireland over Easter, ACI Europe claims that staff shortages at major hubs are due to a lack of monetary support during the pandemic.
Most of Europe will be impacted. According to ACI data, 66 percent of European airports are now expecting summer delays.
In addition, more than a third of airports expect staff shortages to disrupt operations in both the summer and winter.
“Coping with this sudden increase and concentration of air traffic has been challenging for airports and their operational partners – in particular ground handlers,” says the joint statement from ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec and Fabio Gamba, MD of ASA (Airport Services Association).
While demand was mainly met throughout the pandemic, international airports are currently handling more passengers as transatlantic traffic is once again flourishing.
On the negative side, this has resulted in significant setbacks. This is the case with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), which announced Thursday that it will cancel around 4,000 flights this summer owing to manpower shortages.
A total of 5% of SAS trips will be canceled. Passengers flying between Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, and the rest of the world will be affected.
The canceled flights will take place between May and August, so customers who have booked with SAS should check their emails to see if their trip is still on.
“The vast majority of travelers won’t be affected by this, other than they will be rebooked to a flight within a few hours or on the same day,” SAS press officer Karin Nyman told the Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri.
Essentially, airlines and airports were not prepared for such a rapid and unexpected recovery after laying off large numbers of employees during the pandemic.
As a result of the significant increase in demand, they are severely understaffed and are having difficulty hiring additional employees in time to meet their responsibilities to passengers.