Europe’s tourism recovery hindered by flight disruption

Europe’s tourism recovery hindered by flight disruption

Staff shortages at airports and airlines undermining sector’s revival

Flight disruption at many European airports is hindering the recovery of international travel from Europe, according to GlobalData. 

The data and analytics company noted that failures by airlines and airports to adequately prepare for the resurgence in summer travel has resulted in staff shortages, with flight cancellations and passenger queues quickly becoming air travel norms.

GlobalData travel and tourism analyst Hannah Free said: “International departures from European countries are expected to reach 69% of 2019 figures in 2022, according to GlobalData forecasts. While destinations are eager to welcome visitors, supply simply cannot meet demand following extreme staffing deficits and industrial disputes, which has coincided with a rebound in international travel.”

Demand for luxury travel is on the rise according to GlobalData
Most tourists are “not concerned” about catching Covid-19
Tourism boards are leveraging national cuisine to attract visitors

The travel industry is also contending with other challenges including inflation, the rising cost of living and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

Free added: “Airports like London Heathrow and Amsterdam’s Schiphol have been forced to ask airlines to cut flights, while many carriers have had to pre-emptively cull their schedules by the thousands, affecting millions of holidaymakers. EasyJet has reportedly cut more than 11,000 flights from its summer schedule. Meanwhile, British Airways has now cancelled 13% of its summer schedule, following a statement on July 6, 2022, that the company is to axe another 10,300 short-haul flights up to the end of October 2022.”

Both easyJet and British Airways have cited staff shortages as the reason for culling flights. However, its recruitment drive has fallen short after British Airways reportedly cut as many as 10,000 jobs during the pandemic. 


Furthermore, according to hiring trends data on GlobalData’s Job Analytics Database, British Airways had not increased the number of job postings (active jobs) on its career pages until at least March 2022. GlobalData found that active job postings declined by 18% between November 2021 and February 2022.

According to Free, the interconnected nature of the tourism ecosystem means that cancelled flights will affect hotels, airlines, car rental firms, tour operators, cruise lines and others dependent on each other along the traveller journey.

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