The lack of transport staff is causing some serious problems in the tourism industry of Europe, which, in view of the summer period, was expecting a particularly lucrative summer, in order, on the one hand, to come up against the problems caused by the pandemic and, on the other hand, to set aside a “reserve” in case there is an outbreak of cases again in autumn.

According to a Bloomberg report, delays and cancellations in flights have already been noted, while there are problems with ship and train timetables in various countries of Europe due to the inability of companies to handle the large numbers of Northern Europeans, coming for holidays to Southern Europe, as a result of the staff shortages.

The problems

According to the World Tourism and Travel Council, cited by the International News Agency, transport staff shortages reach 18% in Portugal, 15% in France and Italy, 12% in Britain, 11% in the US and 9% in Britain. This is a phenomenon attributed to the redundancies made by companies during the pandemic and now the staff does not want to come back to their previous posts as they work elsewhere.

The first problems arose at Easter, causing airlines and other companies to worry about the coming summer months. The shortages concern mainly the airlines, which fear that they will not be able to cope with higher passenger loads.

Especially in Britain, hiring staff at companies such as British Airways is particularly difficult. Europe’s airspace management company, Eurocontrol, predicted, in early April, that summer aircraft traffic would reach at least 90% of pre-pandemic levels. Since then, airlines, including companies such as Ryanair Holdings, have seen a surge in ticket sales. In many cases, in fact, the actual traffic cannot be predicted as travelers make last minute reservations.

Airports have also some staffing problems. London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub – at least according to pre-pandemic data – is a prime example.

The airport management found it difficult to fill security and cleaning positions, while British Airways, which is the largest airline in the country, speaks of shortages of staff working on the aviation industry. Lack of such staff eventually leads to flight cancellations, even though there is a demand for tickets.

In shipping, cost-cutting efforts have led to chaos on the critical Dover-Calais sea route, which is the main exit point for Britons traveling by car to France and to other countries, as well. P&O Ferries, the largest company on the line, is at loggerheads with the British government after firing 800 seafarers, without warning.

Staff shortages in Greek tourism

There are serious staff shortages in Greek tourism as well, with competent actors ringing the bell for a long time.

The post of the honorary president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), on Twitter, last month, who said that there are serious shortages mainly in catering (kitchen and service) with more than 50,000 vacancies.

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