Europe’s travel disruptions continue to worsen as the German national carrier, Lufthansa, plans to scrap an additional 2,000 flights through to the end of next month. These latest cuts bring the total number of canceled flights to nearly 6,000, but even this significant number can’ t seem to lighten the chaos in the aviation industry.
Most of the affected flights are on domestic and intra-European routes initially scheduled to depart from Frankfurt or Munich, and the airline’s long-haul flights or trips to vacation destinations will mostly be spared. According to the airline, the cut flights are mainly on routes where alternative arrangements can be made.
Simple Flying will be at the Farnborough Airshow next week. For all the latest news from the show, click here.
The affected flights are during the traffic peaks in the afternoon and evening when many flights take off simultaneously, and rotation delays have a substantial impact. Photo: Airbus
Relieving the system
The new onset of cancelations is intended to provide system relief to stabilize the operations at Frankfurt and Munich airports after previously targeted cancelations have shown some improvements. The cancellations should also reduce the passenger numbers during the morning and evening peaks. 3,000 flights after COVID-19 infections struck its workforce, and another 770 connecting flights were scrapped soon after.
Eventually, the Star Alliance member airline even resorted to restricting seat sales to its most expensive price category to put a cap on availability, which made even the cheapest short-haul flights cost nearly € 1,000 ($ 1,002.16). A spokesperson for Lufthansa said:
“Lufthansa has implemented numerous measures and is recruiting additional staff wherever possible to ensure the greatest possible stability of the flight schedule and thus offer its passengers the best possible planning security. Flight safety strikes, weather events, and, in particular, an increased coronavirus infection rate have now put additional strain on the system. “
With the new wave of cancelations in motion, Lufthansa expects that the revised flight schedules will reduce the impact of last minute changes on passengers. Still, the airline cannot guarantee if further flight schedule adjustments for traffic peaks in August will not happen and foresees this as a possibility later.
The latest announcement is Lufthansa’s third wave of flight cancellations so far this summer. Photo: Lufthansa
A growing pile of problems
Lufthansa has also previously said that it doesn’t expect flight operations to return to normal until next year. One of the airline’s board members, Detlef Kayser, said:
“Unfortunately, we can hardly achieve a short-term improvement now in the summer realistically. We expect the situation to return to normal by 2023.”
Germany’s largest airports and airlines, as with most of the world, have been struggling with issues dating back to the initial onset of the pandemic. Thousands of staff members were laid off as part of a trend to save on costs when passenger demand wasn’t bringing in the required profit. In the Lufthansa Group alone, the retrenchment numbers were in the tens of thousands.
And when the passenger demand rebounded, airlines such as Lufthansa and its two major German hubs could not hire back the required workforce numbers in time. As much as the aviation industry, and Lufthansa, try their best to recruit, there is still time required for after so many months, the result has remained the same, with passengers queuing at security for hours and being unable to collect their luggage as it was either misloaded or lost as ground services remained overworked.
It is still tricky for Lufthansa and the rest of the German aviation industry to recruit despite the German government relaxing on the red tape for hiring foreign talent. Photo: Lufthansa
Given how the summer has seen perhaps the worst chaos for the aviation industry worldwide, there is some truth to what Lufthansa said in regards to these problems not being able to be resolved until next year. With several festivities due in the upcoming months, travel demand As for passengers, this won’t be the last wave of cancellations from any major carrier. Will undoubtedly boom to a new height and could potentially cause more disruption.
Source: Regina Leader-Post