As Leisure Travel Recovers to 2019 Levels, Airlines Struggle to Match the Rebound`s Intensity, According to Oliver Wyman


High fuel prices and labour shortages are making the busy summer season a challenge for carriers.

Global airlines are seeing fast-rising air travel demand at a time when they’re still recovering from COVID-19 and face labor shortfalls affecting every job from pilots to baggage handlers, according to a new report from consulting firm Oliver Wyman. In Europe and the United States, for example, sudden spikes in demand have led to a recent spate of cancellations and delays.

“While we are seeing a very solid rebound in passenger travel, operational problems and labor shortages across the industry have become acute problems,” said Tom Stalnaker, Oliver Wyman’s global aviation practice lead and co-author of the Airline Economic Analysis.

Demand is simply outpacing the ability to bring capacity back online, added Khalid Usman, a partner in aviation and AEA co-author. “If you’ve flown recently, you would have felt this firsthand. Carriers are struggling to find people when they need them,” Usman said.

Oliver Wyman’s Airline Economic Analysis (AEA) is an annual report that looks in detail at trends that affected airlines and the aviation industry generally over the past year. It analyzes what these trends will mean for the industry moving forward.

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