The Editor’s Corner #18 – Why Do Airports & Airlines Fight Over Chaos When Government is to Blame?

LONDON – The travel chaos has got me thinking. Why do airports & airlines fight over chaos when the government is to blame? Welcome to The Editor’s Corner.

The Editor’s Corner is an op-ed series from AviationSource Editor-in-Chief James Field, who is going to give his thoughts (Maybe controversial) on all things going on in the aviation industry.

In case you have missed the last 17, feel free to browse through them before you continue to read this piece:

  1. The Editor’s Corner #1: The Industry Isn’t Ready for Summer 2022 Demand
  2. The Editor’s Corner #2: JetBlue’s Offer for Spirit Airlines Will Change The American Airline Dynamic
  3. The Editor’s Corner #3: Boris Johnson’s Damage To The Aviation Sector is Another Reason for Resignation
  4. The Editor’s Corner #4: PLAY Will Transform The Market with a Post-Pandemic Edge
  5. The Editor’s Corner #5: Detriment of the Boeing 737 MAX & 787 Is Causing a 777X-Based Aftershock
  6. The Editor’s Corner #6: Qantas’ Plans For The Future Will Turn Around Negative Times
  7. The Editor’s Corner #7: The P2F Market Is Hotting Up…
  8. The Editor’s Corner #8: O’Leary Is Gunning For Another Cheap Boeing Order
  9. The Editor’s Corner #9: Ukraine Crisis: Turkish Airlines’ A350 Snap-Up from Aeroflot May Have Something To Do With A Red Carpet…
  10. The Editor’s Corner #10 – Ukraine Crisis: Lessors Will Not Win The Russia Battle
  11. The Editor’s Corner #11 – Spirit Airlines Are Slowly Changing Their Mind…
  12. The Editor’s Corner #12 – The Indian Air Cargo Market Is Hotting Up
  13. The Editor’s Corner #13 – Video Footage From RedAir Flight 203 Highlights Dangers of Carrying Luggage During an Evacuation
  14. The Editor’s Corner #14 – The Spirit-Frontier-JetBlue Battle for Merger Will Be Remembered As A Mess
  15. The Editor’s Corner #15 – Flyr, Norse & Norwegian Have Opportunity to Capitalise on SAS’ Woes
  16. The Editor’s Corner #16 – The Airbus & Boeing Battle Will Heat Up At Farnborough
  17. The Editor’s Corner #17 – My Predictions for Farnborough Were Well Off…

James will be starting things off with his next topic being: Why Do Airports & Airlines Fight Over Chaos When Government is to Blame?

Why Do Airports & Airlines Fight Over Chaos When Government is to Blame?

Why do airports and airlines fight over chaos when actually the governments are to blame for their restrictive policies during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Towards the end of 2021, it was becoming clear that the pandemic would be under control before the Summer 2022 season, so recruitment should have started at that point.

Some carriers have been the exception to the rule. Jet2, for example, is not in a position of cancellation or shortage due to its proactiveness, but that was despite ignoring government policy.

Obvious Reasoning for The Fighting…

There is, of course, obvious reasoning for airports and airlines to be fighting over the travel chaos, as the airports should be providing a seamless experience for airline passengers.

However, it is also down on the airlines too because of the fact that they are well at over-capacity, which has resulted in flight cancellations and delays.

So, with both sides wrong, this is where we see the breakdown of the sector, which ultimately affects the passengers at the end of the day.

However, there is one other party that needs to be brought into this more.

Governments Need To Be Held to Account…

As mentioned in the introduction, it was becoming clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was easing towards the end of 2021. Governments should have been telling the sector to ramp up plans for recruitment, ahead of what was going to be a busy Summer of 2022.

I even predicted in the first edition of The Editor’s Corner that the industry was not ready for the high demand that the Summer 2022 season was going to be like.

Governments should have provided a timetable, that was subject to change, of course, to enable airlines, airports, and other companies to start thinking about getting back to pre-COVID employment levels.

More support should be given to the sector by the respective governments, particularly in the recruitment process, as well as offer substantial wages at a subsidy for a period of time before the companies can afford it themselves.

Could A Shaky Summer Mean A Weak Winter?

That being said, and to put it bluntly, the aviation industry needs to get its shit together thick and fast. After what is already a shaky summer, recruitment needs to be completed before the Winter 2022/23 season.

If they don’t get a grip of this before then, because let’s face it, the Summer 2022 season is already disrupted, then this could become a pandemic of its own and even creep into Summer 2023.

So it could definitely turn into a Weak Winter following what has been the shakiest Summer on record for a long time.

To put it bluntly again, the industry needs to sort itself out and acquire the resources it needs. And yes, that means spending money, and not offering crap wages to staff either.

Lessons To Be Learnt When In A Post-Pandemic State…

From what we have seen in the Summer 2022 season so far, there are definite lessons to be learned when in a post-pandemic state, particularly on the governmental side.

If we ever enter into a pandemic again, there now needs to be a form of a soft timetable for all industries across the globe to return to some form of normalcy.

Whilst that is hard to establish, we now have a case study that should put fear into industries about lagging behind and being disrupted as a result.

Even on the airline and airport side, there needs to be a bit more future thinking when it comes to recruitment. The inability to think ahead is also quite mind-boggling.

Maybe there is an over-reliance on government from the sector, and the need to be individualized needs to come sooner?

Overall: Summer 2023 Will Hopefully Be Smoother…

Overall, it is to my personal hope that Summer 2023, and even the Winter 2022/23 season will be smoother for the industry, as it needs the revenue to make recovery next year possible.

Hopefully, all sides have learned lessons, and they will not put themselves in these situations again. As for the governmental side, more needs to be done in terms of coordination with the sector for events like this.

Recruitment needs to continue being a major factor in the way we solve this travel chaos, and ensure that the safety of the sector is not compromised whilst we are doing this as well.

The industry will get there again. It may just be a bit painful on the way there.

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