The entire aviation industry has been affected by serious cancellations lately. Staff shortages among airlines as well as at airports have led to chaos, while strike actions over low wages and overwork do not bring the hope of a soon recovery.
Most airlines have not been commenting on the disruptions at a general level, mostly addressing them case by case and citing temporary problems. Lufthansa however has decided to address the issue as a whole and admitted in a letter to its customers that traffic is unlikely to get back to normal in the following months.
The airline has already announced the cancellation of over 1,000 flights just in July and 3,000 over the summer and an apology letter to the customers affected by the cancellations, cited by euronews, shows them addressing the systematic difficulties to the industry’s recovery.
The ramp-up of the complex air transport system from almost zero to now almost 90 per cent is clearly not proceeding with the reliability, the robustness and the punctuality that we would like to offer you again.Lufthansa
The pandemic has caused about 2.3 million employees in the aviation industry to lose their jobs. Despite hiring campaigns being now underway at airlines and airports, workers are not keen on returning under the current circumstances. Furthermore, the ones that are still working are taking industrial action against the poor working conditions.
In what euronews calls “a rare show of honesty”, Lufthansa has admitted in the letter to being severely understaffed. It said it is recruiting new personnel, but also warned that the effects are not going to be seen by passengers at least until winter.
Too many employees and resources are still unavailable, not only at our infrastructure partners but in some of our own areas, too.Lufthansa
The airline also pointed to the war in Ukraine as an additional cause for the disruptions, putting a lot of pressure on the industry and “leading to massive bottlenecks in the skies and thus, unfortunately, to further flight delays”.
Lastly, Lufthansa said that it only expects “to have a much more reliable air transport system worldwide” in the summer of 2023. In the meantime, it pleads with its customers to show patience and understanding while the industry is recovering: “We thank you for your loyalty; and we hope we may count on your understanding, too, should your journey not yet go quite as expected or planned.”