International airlines launch battle plans to deal with summer travel chaos

American Airlines canceled the flight “short notice” in July while easyJet changed its schedule as airports announced capacity limits.

Stephen Brashear | beautiful pictures

The airline industry has been in turmoil since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, a perfect strike storm and staff shortages are forcing airlines to battle plans to make up for a tumultuous summer of travel.

Around 90,000 jobs cut on US airlines as worldwide travel grinds to a halt in 2020, while easyJet and Airbus among European companies to cut staff.

Passenger numbers for leisure and business flights have since increased again exceed pre-pandemic numbers. However, those money-saving cuts have become shortage causes havoc.

British Airways on Tuesday Short-haul flight sales suspended from London’s Heathrow after the airport asked airlines to cut passenger numbers.

So, what are other airlines doing this summer?

Schedule an adjustment

Dutch Airlines KLM will limit ticket sales from Amsterdam in September and October after Schiphol . airport set a limit on the number of departing passengers.

The airline “does not expect cancellations to be necessary” to meet the limits imposed by the airport, but warned that “there will be fewer seats than usual in the Dutch market.”

German carrier Lufthansa adjusted its schedule early in the summer and canceled 3,000 flights from Frankfurt and Munich. According to the airline, the initial changes were made with the aim of “clearing up the overall system and providing a stable flight schedule”.

The airline also canceled more than 1,000 flights due to a ground staff walk in July. There is currently no capacity limit on the number of passengers.

Low cost airline easyJet changed its schedule in June after Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and London’s Gatwick Airport announced passenger capacity limits. Since then, “operations have normalized,” according to easyJet, and performance “is now at 2019 levels.”

American Airlines The company has issued several “short notice” cancellations for Heathrow passenger reasons, but did not mention future disruptions when asked for comment by CNBC.

Swiss International in July canceled a number of upcoming flights scheduled between July and October. The airline said the changes had “become necessary due to known limitations in air traffic control in Europe, limitations at ground service providers and airports around the world as well as at SWISS.”

Business as usual

Dubai’s Emirates airline did not make any changes to its schedule or number of passengers after it refuses to comply with Heathrow’s capacity restriction request in July.

Austrian Airlines is operating its summer flight schedule “as planned.”

Meanwhile, Irish Airlines Ryanair said it “has no plans to cap passenger numbers” and that capacity is now 115% of pre-Covid numbers.

Recovery remains “fragile” however, according to CEO Michael O’Leary.

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