Monday, December 5, 2022

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    The labor crisis in the airline sector leads to a chaotic summer at airports | companies | The USA Print

    What promises to be an exceptional summer in terms of travel demand in Europe, after two years of restrictions due to the pandemic, is becoming a difficult bite for airlines and airports to swallow.

    Lack of ground service personnel and cabin crew in key markets; aviation fuel has risen above crude oil, and the recovery of mobility has fueled lethargic labor conflicts. Last week it was the CEO of IAG, Louis Gallegowho warned of the arrival of complicated months.

    The impressive image of thousands of bags lost in London-Heathtrow due to operational problems last Monday only raised the alarm tone. There were more than 30 cancellations and the airport even asked the airlines to reduce their production that day to straighten the course. Yesterday it was also learned that the United Kingdom Department of Transport is going to grant a exemption to airlines in the rule of renewal of slots to ease the pressure on Britain’s main airport.

    Before all this, British Airways had canceled 10% of its offer until October to prevent the imbalances registered since March from increasing.

    Ryanair, Easyjet, Lufthansa or Air France have open conflicts with their templates

    Iberiaalso from IAG, has complained this month of serious problems in the connections in Madrid-Barajas due to the lack of police officers in passport control, which has motivated reinforcements by the Ministry of the Interior.

    Another one of the great easy jet, announced on Monday a downward correction in its production, given the risk of collapse in two of its most important bases, the British one in Gatwick and the Dutch one in Amsterdam. More than 11,000 flights could be affected until September, of the 160,000 that the orange airline usually operates in the summer months. It is even considered removing seats on planes to adapt the passage to the crews.

    The mismatch between the execution capacity of the supply and the registered demand is such that the aforementioned Amsterdam airport has anticipated that it will limit the volume of travelers this summer, which translates into a 16% decrease in planned flights.


    In the chapter on strikes, the largest airline in terms of passenger traffic, Ryanair, is facing strikes by its cabin crew (TCP) in five countries almost simultaneously. She is threatened with a six-day strike in Spain, called by USO and Sitcpla on June 24, 25 and 26, and from Thursday the 30th of this month to July 2; the Belgian ACV Puls and CNE unions, as well as the Portuguese SNPVAC, have called for a strike on June 24, 25 and 26; in France, the call for the SNPNC is for the 25th and 26th, and the Italian FILT-CGIL has scheduled the protest for the 25th. The general request is hiring under a local labor system and negotiating agreements. Despite the fact that these mobilizations affect 2,700 TCP, Ryanair trusts that a minimum follow-up will take place.

    Before facing this fire, the president of the Irish airline, Michael O’Learyassures that the lack of troops is not affecting him, but he does acknowledge, in statements to Skythat last weekend a quarter of its flights suffered delays that it blames on air traffic control.

    The CEO of IAG anticipated last week that this would be a difficult summer

    As far as Spain is concerned, the British Easyjet also has the TCP unions on strike, with nine days of protest announced yesterday: July 1, 2, 3, 15, 16, 17, 29, 30 and 31. In full negotiation of the second agreement, it is the USO union that complains of blocking the proposals of the staff.

    In France, the pilots of Air Franceand are willing to mobilize. The Alter union, with just over 20% representation among the group, has scheduled its strike for Saturday the 25th. The confrontation reaches the low-cost subsidiary Transviawith a strong volume of operations to Spain.

    In the group Lufthansawhich is going to dispense with some 1,000 flights in July in search of stabilizing its operations, is Brussels Airlines the one that has half a thousand flights in check from tomorrow to Saturday before the strike announced by the representatives of the TCP. Finally there are 315 operations canceled and some 40,000 travelers affected. And the situation in Brussels is aggravated by a strike by security personnel who already blocked Zaventem airport on Monday. Paris-Charles de Gaullefor its part, faces a labor conflict as of July 1.

    In northern Europe, beyond the impact caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the consequent closure of airspace, a labor conflict has broken out in the Norwegian Organization of Air Traffic Technicians (NFO)which already motivates cancellations in the Scandinavian countries.

    Summer has just started and conflict is skyrocketing in a key sector for the European economy. IAG or Ryanair predict that stabilization, after the stoppage of engines during the pandemic, will take several months.

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