Over the past two years, airline and airport executives have convinced everyone that they can fly safely during a pandemic, promoting touchpoint reductions and hospital-grade filters. They knew little about how overwhelming they would be when the trip came back.

A chaotic scene in India and Europe where the UK has experienced weeks of turmoil and Germany’s Lufthansa AG has canceled hundreds of flights from Sydney, where passengers are waiting hours to check in. Until then, travel demand since the summer is still uncertain for the aviation industry, but it is operating smoothly.

As countries reopened their borders and the Covid-19 rimstone collapsed, travel became very active, with the temporary dismissal of hundreds of thousands of workers caused by pandemics, from pilots to flight attendants to the ground. Brought to an unprecedented labor crisis exacerbated by. -Handling of staff. Many aren’t willing to come back, but even if they do, scaling up at such a pace is a risk for airlines and airports, inflation and economic pressures skyrocket, and current demand A question mark is added as to how sustainable it really is.

“At this point, all airports and airlines are understaffed,” said Jeff Calbert, Chief Executive Officer of Sydney Airport. The airfield is about to be rebuilt fiercely, but “we’re not as attractive as it used to be,” he said. “There are still concerns about employment security.”

Many aviation sector employees who have lost their jobs due to a pandemic have proven difficult to move back to other, more volatile careers. Changi Airport in Singapore is looking for 6,600 workers, from security guards to catering staff. One outfit, the Certis Group, offers a $ 18,000 sign-on bonus for the role of the Auxiliary Police officer, who helps control traffic and crowds, about ten times the base monthly salary.

The serious staff shortages discussed at the 78th Annual Meeting of the International Air Transport Association, which opens in Doha on Sunday, have caused delays, cancellations and extreme frustration for both airlines and cross-regional travelers. rice field. The situation was so bad that Ryanair Holdings CEO Michael O’Leary turned to British military personnel for help, and Qantas Australia’s headquarters staff to work as an airport volunteer during the peak of the July vacation. Hired.

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Jenslitter, CEO of Lufthansa’s leading German airline, said: LinkedIn post We apologize for the canceled flights in Munich and Frankfurt last week. “Many people left the aviation sector during the pandemic and found jobs elsewhere. Currently, system partners such as airports and catering companies are facing a serious staff shortage and are hiring new staff. I’m having a hard time. “

The security clearance required for work at the airport is also dragging adoption. British Airways has about 3,000 potential new hires stuck in background checks while at easyJet Plc, and 140 crew members are trained and ready, but the air needed. I don’t have a side pass yet.

According to Malaysia Airlines CEO Izham Ismail, it could take up to 12 months for the shortage to be resolved. He said, “This is mostly seen very clearly in Europe. It is seen in North America. It is seen in Malaysia.” “I believe that stakeholders and policy makers need to work together to resolve all issues.”

How airlines and airports are managed varies by region. Brendan Sobie, founder of Singapore-based consultancy Sobie Aviation, said airports are usually more aggressive in avoiding meltdowns in Asia, denying airlines permission to add new flights or reschedules. It states that it is seeking. Other parts of the world are hoping to take a break as demand is maintained or is beginning to decline.

“There are no markets that are unaffected by human resource issues, so any window to address them can be considered beneficial,” says Sovier.

When I visited Sydney Airport last Friday, the beginning of a long weekend, it was clear that I needed to catch up. A cue to clear the security of Virgin Australia and Jetstar flights meandered out the door. In addition to a security check at the Toby’s Estate Cafe, one barista said he would make at least 300 cups of coffee by noon, 50% more than usual. People have been waiting 20 deep at McDonald’s.

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Meanwhile, in India, make-up artist Zinabu Ashraf, who spends time between Mumbai and the city of Kolkata in eastern India, had to wait 45 minutes just to collect the bags. Regardless of the time of travel, the airport never looks empty. “Kolkata Airport’s congestion will not be alleviated except during peak rush hours. The crowd is constant.”

The turmoil was especially terrible at other European hubs such as the UK and Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris. Ryanair Holdings Plc’s Spanish cabin crew union has announced a six-day strike starting later this month after the salary increase negotiations collapsed. Workers will be out in six days, union officials said at a press conference in Madrid on Monday.

According to media reports, a disabled person on an escalator at Gatwick Airport in the UK died this week due to a shortage of staff as they waited for airline staff to get a wheelchair. According to Sky News, Gatwick Airport denied the claim in a statement.

But behind the push to hire more staff, there are protracted concerns that demand may not be sustained. In that case, airlines can face the problem of overcapacity, both in terms of fleet and personnel, if they take all idle jets home and actively hire them. Airfares are already much higher than most travelers’ comfort levels, inflation is pushing up living costs everywhere, and after the first euphoria, people may prefer to stay home or take a vacation.

“After the peak of travel in the Northern Hemisphere from June to August, the combination of accelerated return to school and work and reduced normal seasonal demand will allow airlines to ease or further demand for leisure and business fares. Is at risk of being destroyed, “says Robert Mann. , Head of RW Mann & Co, a New York-based aviation consulting firm.

“Airline margins will worsen,” he said, making a tough decision on “how much capacity can be realistically skipped, especially in the middle of the week when business trips are historically dominant.” I will have to do it.