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Travel is back: is the UK airline industry ready for the big break?

With the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and the upcoming Easter and summer holidays, UK tourists are preparing to repack their bags for international travel.

When the UK government last month approved the lifting of the remaining measures, it meant an end to passenger tracking forms and testing requirements for returning citizens and arrivals. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the changes would mean “more freedom for travelers” ahead of the Easter holidays. And the end of the Covid rules will give “a much-needed boost to the ailing travel industry,” he said i news Side? site.

Consumer confidence in international tourism is “on the rise,” said Abta – The Travel Association. According to the association research 57% of people have booked a holiday abroad for the next 12 months, up from 44% in October 2021. “These figures are close to pre-pandemic levels and it is clear that confidence in travel is rising as restrictions ease . ”

Are UK airports ready?

Easter bookings are “almost back to pre-pandemic level” Travel weekly reported. According to data from the Advantage Travel Partnership, departures during this period are down just 10% compared to Easter 2019, and Spain and Turkey “remain firm favorites among travellers”.

With travel back on the agenda and tourists flocking to airports again, one big question remains. “Are UK airports actually ready?” Matt Blake asked The Points guy. Airlines are “enjoying an interest they could only dream of a year ago”, but airports are “struggling to cope with this increasing demand”.

Lack of staff blamed for “chaotic scenes”.

“Chaotic scenes” have been reported at a number of UK and Ireland airport terminals in recent days, and some passengers “have even missed flights due to long queues,” Blake added.

Britain’s airports were “into chaos” after staff shortages led to hundreds of canceled flights and hour-long delays over the weekend. The Independent reported. With 222 flights canceled due to staff shortages, easyJet was “one of the worst affected airlines” and a spokesman said that “as a result of the current high rates of Covid infection across Europe, as with all companies, easyJet is experiencing higher than usual levels illness of the employee”. British Airways also canceled “hundreds of flights” on Saturday and Sunday, with a further 90 cancellations to date.

As the Easter holidays began, passengers faced long queues at a number of airports including Heathrow and Manchester. The guard reported. There have been “long waits” at check-in at Heathrow due to Covid controls, high passenger volumes and reported staff shortages.

A Manchester Airport spokesman apologized to passengers. “As we recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, our entire industry is facing staffing shortages and recruitment issues,” the spokesman said. “For this reason, we advise our customers that security queues may be longer than usual and we encourage them to arrive at the earliest time recommended by their airline.”

Problems are “not final”

Airports have blamed a “cross-industry staffing crisis” for the troubles caused by a “deadly combination” of staff sickness and post-pandemic recruitment problems, Blake said. “But the problems, they promise, are not final.”

the Daily express said that ‘Brexit Britain’ is again ‘aiming at the sky’ as airlines and airports offer hundreds of new jobs. Luton Airport has advertised more than 400 new positions in total, with several positions available in security, firefighting, hospitality and retail staff.

Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport, is hiring 12,000 workers to help cope with an “expected summer holiday boom”, it said The guard. John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, said: “We need to make sure we’re prepared to meet potential peak demand this summer.”

Aviation expert John Strickland of JLS Consulting said the workforce shortages caused by the pandemic will be “more widespread” among airlines due to the number of people laid off. An IT glitch at British Airways caused dozens of flights to be delayed or canceled at Heathrow last week, and the disruption caused by the repeated IT meltdowns is being compounded by staff shortages. The Independent reported. Strickland told the PA news agency: “Once the dominoes begin to fall, you will stumble even more if your manpower is not sufficient for a properly planned installation”.

https://www.theweek.co.uk/business/employment/956317/travel-uk-aviation-industry-ready-take-off Travel is back: is the UK airline industry ready for the big break?

Fry Electronics Team

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