Chaos at airports: who is to blame?

For many holidaymakers, the long-awaited first summer of travel after the Covid pandemic has begun with long queues, missing luggage and cancelled flights. In many cases the problems are due to staff shortages or strikes at low-cost airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet. Europe's press discusses ways out of the crisis.

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Õhtuleht (EE) /

Time for a salary hike

The chaos at Europe's airports is directly linked to the salaries of the employees, Õhtuleht points out:

“There was a naive belief that after the crisis many people would never fly again, or if they did, then infrequently and at expensive rates. Exactly the opposite has happened, and the airports are full of people who have only one desire - to fly. But now those who used to work in airports, restaurants and the like have found new jobs and don't want to go back. Even G4S [security services] had problems finding employees for Tallinn airport. They only managed to recruit after they announced they'd be paying a minimum wage of 1,400 euros. Employers who can't find employees should take another look at what they're paying. Maybe it's the same as it was before Covid?”

Új Szó (SK) /

The mayhem will end soon

The tourism industry will soon settle down, Új Szó predicts:

“Travellers have accepted that everything costs more this year and are even willing to pay the higher prices. ... This summer season is an exception: the people's desire to travel which went unfulfilled for two years has triumphed over reason. However, because of the extra costs travellers are now paying there will be a shortage of tourists in the autumn. ... The end of the holiday season is also likely to bring more stability: a drop in prices and a return to normal operating conditions - without strikes and flight cancellations.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Aviation needs a new model

The confusion at Europe's airports highlights the upheavals in the economic system, says De Standaard:

“Before Covid everything was in full swing. Fierce competition and an iron logic of cost-cutting kept the chaos at bay. ... But now what travellers prefer to turn a blind eye to is on the table: the quality of the jobs that formed the basis for their often dirt-cheap air travel. ... Aviation has exhausted its eco-system. ... Economic studies have shown that airport downsizing brings greater welfare gains than the noise, pollution, pressure and nitrogen of tens of thousands of additional aircraft. ... Without a new model, we are done for.”