(Reuters) – Staffing is getting better at airports around the world, so travel should go more smoothly this summer. According to an industry group, peak travel times in Europe and North America may still have long lines, a lot of luggage, and delayed flights.
Airports, airlines, and government agencies have been hiring more people to avoid labour shortages like the ones that happened last summer and made it hard to travel.
Most routes are expected to get back to where they were before the pandemic in 2023, which will put even more pressure on an already strained industry.
“The summer months will be hard at times for Europe, North America, and some parts of Southeast Asia, as the number of passengers is expected to rise and reach or even exceed 2019 levels in some places,” said Thomas Romig, vice president of safety, security, and operations at airport trade group ACI World.
Romig said that most airport executives at an Airports Council International meeting this week on France’s Reunion Island thought that any problems would likely only happen during busy times and not for the whole summer.
Steven Zaat, the Chief Financial Officer of Air France KLM (OTC: AFLYY), told reporters that airports like Schiphol in Amsterdam and others might not have enough staff until the end of June.
“Of course, we’re still affected by the fact that there aren’t enough workers everywhere, including at the airport,” he said, “but we can see that things are getting back on track.”
At the beginning of 2023, low-cost airlines EasyJet (LON:EZJ), Ryanair, and Wizz Air all had strong financial results due to strong forward bookings. Analysts say that people are still saving for their vacations, even though they are worried about rising prices and a possible recession.
Airports are already getting ready for the busy travel season. This week, Schiphol said that it was thinking about cutting the number of passengers it could take in by about 5% during the May vacation time.
In Canada, Montreal-Trudeau International Airport said it was adding services to cut down on lines before spring break. For example, it is improving an online booking system that lets people schedule a specific time to go through security checkpoints.
Last summer, the country had trouble with long border and security lines at major hubs due to a lack of staff. More recently, the country has had trouble with the winter weather.
A spokesperson for the office of Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said that during a recent meeting with airlines and airports, Alghabra talked about how to get ready for spring break.
“We are working hard to make sure that the traffic jams we saw last summer don’t happen again,” said spokeswoman Nadine Ramadan.