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The crisis of the airlines is intensifying the pressures for the summer

The crisis of the airlines is intensifying the pressures for the summer

After 21 years as a service officer at Air France, Karim Djeffal quit his job during the COVID-19 pandemic to start his own job guidance consulting firm.

“If that does not happen, I will not return to the aviation sector,” said the 41-year-old. “Some shifts started at 4 in the morning and others ended at midnight. It was exhausting.”

Djeffal gives an overview of what airports and airlines across Europe are facing as they run to hire thousands to deal with the resurgence of demand as many people try to make up for lost vacations during the pandemic, such as reports Reuters.

Airports in Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands have tried to offer benefits such as salary increases and bonuses for employees who refer a friend. The European Air Force as a whole has lost 600,000 jobs since the pandemic began.

However, recruitment may not come quickly enough to eliminate the risk of canceled flights and long waits for travelers even after the peak summer season, say industry analysts and executives.

This summer, in which air travel is supposed to return to normal after a two-year pandemic vacuum, risks becoming the summer in which the high-volume, low-cost air travel model will collapse, at least in the European market, he said. Reuters.

Manpower shortages and strikes have already caused unrest in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and Frankfurt this spring.

Airlines such as low-cost flight giant easyJet are canceling hundreds of summer flights, and new strikes are being prepared in Belgium, Spain, France and Scandinavia.

Chaos in the aviation sector

As industry leaders head to a summit in Qatar this week, an important issue will be who is responsible for the chaos between airlines, airports and governments.

“There is a lot of mud, but each side is to blame for not meeting the resurgence in demand,” said James Halstead, chief executive of Aviation Strategy.

The aviation industry says it has lost 2.3 million jobs worldwide during the pandemic, with ground handling and safety having been hit hardest, according to Air Transport Action Group, which represents the industry.

“They clearly have alternatives now and they can change jobs,” said senior ING economist Rico Luman. Although he expects travel pressures to ease after the summer, he says shortages may remain, as older workers stay away and there are fewer younger workers willing to replace them.

“Even if there is a recession, the labor market will remain tight at least this year,” he said.

An important factor in slowing down recruitment is the time it takes for new workers to take a security clearance in France, up to five months for the most sensitive jobs, according to the CFDT union.

Marie Marivel, 56, works as a security officer checking luggage at the CDG for about 2,100 euros a month. He says the shortages have led to staff overwork. Trapped passengers have become aggressive. Morale is low.

“We have young people coming and going again after a day,” he says. “We are told that we earn cashiers’ salaries for a job with so much responsibility.”

After a major upheaval in May, the situation in France is stabilizing, said Anne Rigail, CEO of the French arm of Air France-KLM.

Even so, Paris’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, where a union went on strike on July 2, still need to fill a total of 4,000 job vacancies, according to the carrier.

And in the Netherlands, where unemployment is much lower at 3.3%, vacancies are at record levels and hundreds of flights have been canceled and long queues created at KLM’s Schiphol junction.

Schiphol has now given a summer bonus of 5.25 euros per hour to 15,000 employees in security, luggage management, transportation and cleaning – a 50% increase for those who are paid the minimum wage.

“This is huge, of course, but it’s not enough,” said Joost van Doesburg of FNV. “Let’s be honest, the last six weeks have not really been an advertisement for coming to work at the airport.”

Shiphol and Gatwick in London last week unveiled plans to reduce capacity during the summer, forcing further cancellations as airlines, airports and politicians disagree with the crisis.

Source: Capital