According to GlobalData, several airlines banked on employees returning in droves when travel resumed meaningfully in 2022, and as a result, quickly increased their Spring/Summer itineraries. Airlines, on the other hand, should have learnt from the epidemic that nothing is certain in the current atmosphere, according to the premier data and analytics firm.
“It is understandable why airlines rapidly increased their Spring/Summer schedules for 2022, as vaccination programs displayed strong progress in many key markets for the travel industry, resulting in booking confidence increasing in 2021. However, many airlines have found it difficult to hire, vet, and train new staff members to meet the unforeseen demand for international flights from travelers and are now having to cancel hundreds of flights.”Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData
Due to scale challenges, airlines such as Delta, Wizz Air, and easyJet have already reduced or are planning to reduce their Spring/Summer schedules. When it comes to easyJet, the airline said in November 2021 that thousands of new seats would be added to flights to Greece for the summer of 2022. However, easyJet’s hiring trends on GlobalData’s Job Analytics Database revealed that the company did not increase the number of job listings (active jobs) on its career sites in November 2021 or the months leading up to this declaration.
When comparing November 2021 to April 2022, the airline only began to considerably boost its hiring activity in the months leading up to the busy summer period of 2022, with the number of active jobs jumping by 79.3 percent. This is when airlines began to recognize the significant level of demand that would be prevalent during the upcoming summer months.
Hollister continues: “The lack of hiring activity in the back end of 2021, and then a sudden increase in the months leading up to Summer 2022, suggests that airlines such as easyJet may have been suffering with scaling issues, which has led to overselling. These airlines could have scaled their operations more tentatively to avoid having to cancel additional flights in large numbers due to pressures on hiring.”
With many irate passengers wondering why these airlines increased their flight schedules when they don’t have the capacity to do so, prompt refunds are essential to avoid reputational harm.
“Many travelers will still have a sour taste in their mouths due to the hoops they had to jump through to receive refunds during the first bout of cancellations caused by the pandemic. If airlines are slow to process refunds after sudden cancellations this summer, customers may never return to use their services. Travelers may have given airlines the benefit of the doubt during the peak of the pandemic but are unlikely to be as forgiving if similar issues occur this far down the line.”Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData