Operational issues prove hurdle to recovery process
As the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided and become an endemic disease it is having less of an influence over global air travel. But airlines are still having to trim flight schedules as supply chain constraints become the bigger concern than virus transmission.
The most acute problem has been a shortage of labour. From pilot shortages at airlines to the slow accreditation of ground staff at airports, these issues are having a significant impact on planning for the future – within the industry and by consumers.
Europe and North America are not yet back to 100% of pre-COVID-19 traffic levels, but airport and aerospace delays in the regions are at or approaching pre-pandemic levels. Airlines have even ceased taking bookings to ease a crisis that has seen schedules culled, yet still long delays at immigration and a rise in miss-placed baggage.
The global pandemic has exposed many problems in airline and airport operational departments and remains a major management challenge. Put simply, the return of travellers has proved more difficult for the industry than anyone thought it would be.
What are the problems and how are airlines adjusting?
Is this all an over-reaction to accepted challenges ramping up operations after the industry’s biggest ever crisis?
Are these operational issues forcing some airlines to make alternative strategic decisions?