In the United States, a whopping 3% of scheduled flights have been canceled this month alone and Europe, excluding Russia, has had about 2% of its flights canceled so far, all due to an ongoing staffing shortage around the globe.
“The massive staff shortages stem from the severe coronavirus restrictions that impacted world travel throughout the pandemic, and though most restrictions have been lifted as people embark on European summer vacations, the staff shortages remain” reports Breitbart News.
Terrifyingly, “beyond pilots, the airline industry has been struggling to staff air traffic control, airport security, baggage handling, catering, and check-in” adds Breitbart. Much of the staffing problem is also due to the fact that “potential hires have to go through strict security screening processes that often take up to 16 weeks.”
“Getting staff back into an airport isn’t like hiring for a restaurant or supermarket,” said Olivier Jankovec, director-general of airports group ACI Europe.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport began “limiting the number of passengers allowed inside, asking travelers not to show up more than four hours before their flights” while advising people to wear comfortable shoes due to the long waits.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Sydney’s airport recently held a job fair to fill its gigantic 5,000 employee gap. “This has caused an unprecedented spike in flight cancellations along with a whole host of other operational issues, such as when Switzerland temporarily closed its airspace due to an information technology glitch.”
The WSJ adds:
Delays, especially in Europe, are particularly high this summer season. So far this month, 25% of scheduled flights on the continent, excluding Russia, took off late, with an average delay of 34 minutes … That compares with 21%, with an average delay of 28 minutes, in June 2019. At Schiphol in Amsterdam, 36% of flights have been delayed this month, up from 28% in 2019.
Flight cancellations have risen in June, according to data compiled by aviation data consultancy Cirium.
Breitbart News also reported that American Airlines announced it would be ending flights to Islip and Ithaca, New York, along with Toledo, Ohio due to the pilot shortage. JetBlue also reduced flights throughout the summer “over staffing issues, while United Airlines has upped its training program to hopefully ready 5,000 new pilots by 2030.”