Mexico City. – About 40,000 flights have been canceled or delayed since Friday in various parts of the world as a result of a combination of factors, including staff shortages.
Today alone, 2,258 flights were canceled and 16,911 delayed worldwide, according to monitoring website FlightAware.
Yesterday’s numbers were 2,703 grounded routes and 19,689 routes delayed.
According to USA Today, weekend travel issues in the US were caused by staff shortages, full planes and the domino effect of previous bad weather.
“This was another Armageddon weekend of travel,” James Ferrara, co-founder and president of global travel agency InteleTravel, told US media.
“But it’s not really isolated or surprising.”
Severe storms and tornadoes hit much of the United States last week.
In addition, it was a weekend with a significant increase in passengers due to the celebrations of Father’s Day and June Eleven, the day when the liberation of enslaved African Americans is celebrated.
“A variety of factors continue to impact our operations, including challenges related to air traffic control and weather and the sudden absence from some of our work groups,” Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Emily Cashdan said in a statement.
“Flight cancellation is always our last resort, and we sincerely apologize to our customers for any inconvenience their travel plans may have caused.”
According to Ferrara, it is the loss of skilled jobs such as pilots that are driving the problems.
He warned that the chaos could continue throughout the summer.
Also yesterday, in London, about 30 flights with a total of 5,000 passengers were canceled after Heathrow Airport asked airlines to reduce flights by 10 percent due to technical issues with baggage.
Gatwick Airport, which is also in the British capital, has announced that it will reduce the number of flights taking off from its runway during the peak summer season due to staff shortages.
Meanwhile, Schiphol Airport, the busiest in the Netherlands, admitted a few days ago that the lack of security personnel will not allow it to keep pace with the increasing demand, so it will have to stop departing flights during the summer period.
The airport authorities did not say how many flights they would cancel per day, but noted that there are currently 13,500 seats per day beyond the capacity that security staff can handle.
“It’s frustrating, of course,” airport chief executive Dick Pinchope told reporters.
“It’s frustrating for the people involved, it’s frustrating for families who really wanted (to travel), it’s frustrating for airlines, it’s the first real summer after Covid-19, it’s frustrating for travel organizations and it’s frustrating for us.”
Two years into the pandemic, the number of air travelers has almost rebounded to 2019 levels. For example, in the United States this month passenger volume represented 88 percent of 2019, according to official figures.
Last Friday was the busiest day of the year as more than 2.4 million people passed through the security services at the country’s airports.
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