Think back to the last time you went to the airport this year. Did it look like the lines were longer? Did it seem like a melting hotpot of people just groaning and complaining? Did you miss your flight? And if you did, when was the next flight you could get into? These questions prove that nowadays, it seems almost impossible to get anywhere with everybody missing their flights. According to young workers in airport terminals, ‘Normally, we can bring people through the line if they’re going to miss their flight. But that day we were told we couldn’t because that was basically everybody.’
Due to the pandemic, thousand of pilots were forced to take retirement early. Understandably, the travel industry had basically come to a standstill. Older, more seasoned pilots left the field but the younger ones couldn’t immediately replace them. This was because there had to be a minimum requirement of flying hours, which they couldn’t complete due to the world technically being paused. Nobody was flying, pilots were out for the season and this was a problem some people might’ve foreseen back then but nobody could really solve with the dire situation all of us were in.
Even the most efficient airport has been running into the same problem. Delayed flights, an endless queue of irritable people, luggage getting lost everywhere. This is the ongoing effect that the travel industry will have to endure for quite a while. Regional airlines are in trouble if they don’t get pilots to switch to them from the major airlines. Without enough pilots, regional airlines could go out of service, which means it will become extremely difficult to get on connecting flights into major tourist cities.
To solve this problem, pilot associations and airlines have urged for the required maximum flying hours to be reduced and have even raised the salaries for eager pilots. This even includes increased maternity leaves! However, the staffing issue doesn’t just stop at the pilots –it also includes the flight attendants, security personnel, airportbus drivers, and baggage handlers.
The pandemic has definitely shaken the world but it’s about time we get back to the skies. It’s all hands-on-deck at this point. Unless our staff shortage is fixed, it’s going to be long lines at airports everywhere inthe country!