Tourism recovery in Europe slows with airlines inadequately prepared: GlobalData

Recovery of international travel from Europe has slowed down as queues and cancellations grow due to airlines failing to adequately prepare for the great travel comeback.

Travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, Hannah Free commented: “International departures from European countries are expected to reach 69 per cent of 2019 figures in 2022, according to GlobalData forecasts. While destinations are eager to welcome visitors, supply simply cannot meet demand following extreme staffing deficits and industrial disputes, which has coincided with a rebound in international travel.”

Queues and cancellations grow in Europe due to airlines failing to adequately prepare for a rebound in travel demand

Other than the chaos and cancellations at several European airports, the travel industry’s recovery is also contending with other challenges including inflation, the rising cost of living, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict – all of which are likely to significantly dampen travel demand.

Free said: “Airports like London Heathrow and Amsterdam’s Schiphol have been forced to ask airlines to cut flights, while many carriers have had to pre-emptively cull their schedules by the thousands, affecting millions of holidaymakers.”

Due to staff shortages, airlines have had to cut their flights from their summer schedule. easyJet has reportedly culled more than 11,000 flights while British Airways has cancelled 13 per cent, including another 10,300 short-haul flights up to the end of October 2022 to be axed.

Looking at British Airways’ hiring trends, however, the airline may have failed to adequately prepare for a rebound in travel demand this summer. In November 2021, British Airways had announced increasing its workforce by 15 per cent, adding around 4,000 personnel including pilots, cabin crew, ground staff and back-office roles as part of a recruitment drive to prepare for Covid-19 recovery.

However, the recruitment drive has fallen short after British Airways reportedly cut as many as 10,000 jobs during the pandemic. Furthermore, GlobalData’s Job Analytics Database hiring trends data showed that the airline had not increased the number of active job postings on its career pages until at least March 2022. Instead, job postings had declined by 18.4 per cent between November 2021 and February 2022.

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