AirHelp, an expert on air passenger rights, analyzes the aviation sector and stresses the importance of providing adequate passenger service. Lack of pilots and over-tourism cause significant damage in the area.
According to the institution, more than 8 million passengers worldwide are entitled to compensation due to flight disruptions between January and September 2018. This number increases each year, in line with the increasing frequency of flights. flights. Given the international shortage of pilots and airport capacity, the growth of the aviation sector and the appropriate treatment of travelers are at stake.
AirHelp, a company specializing in the defense of air passenger rights and world leader in compensation for disruption of flights, concluded that between January and September this year, Portuguese passengers suffered a record number of interruptions that could give the right to receive compensation: an increase of 190% over the same period last year.
The most common causes of aerial disturbances
The lack of pilots has increasingly contributed to the disruption experienced by airlines. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports that 48% of HR professionals in the aviation sector are struggling to find new pilots due to salary requirements and lack of candidates. To compound the already existing shortage in the industry, an additional demand for 637,000 pilots is expected in the next 20 years.
Occasional tourism is another of the most pressing causes of flight disruption, in addition to climate-related issues. According to IATA, travel demand and frequency are expected to increase by 3.5% per year and passenger numbers increase from $ 3.8 billion in 2016 to more than $ 8.2 billion in 2037. With fewer pilots, airlines can not cope with the flight demand and airports do not have the capacity to support the flow of passengers.
How airlines respond to obstacles and disruptions
Last summer, the aviation industry was in extreme chaos, largely due to strikes by airline workers that led to an increase in the number of flight cancellations. After these episodes, some airlines refused to pay the compensation due to passengers. In addition to these cancellations, over-tourism has also led to overcrowding at airports and flights.
Increases in ticket prices, fees, check-in or ticket changes, for example, are popular in the industry. This summer, following IATA’s forecast of a 12% reduction in the airline industry’s profits, some US airlines, including American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines, have announced that passengers should be prepared to a price increase. tickets. Ryanair has introduced new rules for the transport of suitcases, which include a cost for the transport of hand luggage, which has been in effect since 1 November.
What must be done to keep the industry in line with the growth of tourism?
Air travel continues to grow as industry players take years to take concerted action. Airlines need to start making changes to keep pace with the increase in passenger numbers. To better support the growing number of travelers on the most popular routes, companies can work closely with aerospace companies to introduce larger aircraft, collaborate with airports that can negotiate with local governments the necessary approvals and funds. to the expansion of the terminal.
Use larger planes
For example, Saudi Arabian Airlines has announced that it will use the Boeing 777-300ER for some routes during the holiday season to obtain 115 additional seats. By adopting a similar strategy, other airlines will also be able to provide better service to passengers.