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Need I say Moores

(Yet another) summer of discontent

Europe is bracing for a heatwave, in more ways than one, as tensions threaten to reach a boiling point between airlines, employees and passengers during the busiest period of the year.

Another day, another strike ballot. Ryanair air crews in the UK, Ireland and Portugal are all being balloted on walkouts. British Airways is trying to avert its own pilots’ strike and, earlier this month, there were similar rumblings from pilots at Air France regional airline HOP.

Each side blames the other—while lamenting the unfortunate impact on passengers—whose holidays and business trips are held hostage in a dispute that they have no voice in.

EasyJet, meanwhile, is bracing for another summer of anticipated disruptions, after ATC and infrastructure limitations hampered operations in summer 2018.

“The only thing we know about the upcoming summer is that there will be further slot delays. However, we have been preparing ourselves for months now,” easyJet Europe managing director Thomas Haagensen told ATW.

What’s the point in airlines investing billions of dollars in environmentally efficient aircraft, if those aircraft are then forced to fly in unnecessary circles?

As if to rub salt into that wound, the same regulators who have failed to deliver much-needed ATC improvements are considering new eco-taxes—and an emerging flight-shaming movement is adding to the eco-pressure.

Meanwhile, Amsterdam Schiphol had camp beds on standby, after the airport’s fuel supply system failed, leading to 400 canceled flights—and plenty of angry passengers.

When a passenger’s trip is ruined, regardless of cause and blame, their faith in aviation will be damaged—and they will likely share that view with other potential passengers.

Every one of these incidents reflects negatively on passenger perception—and that’s an issue for the whole industry to address.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@informa.com

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