Airlines are expected to pass increasing oil prices to passengers through higher fares, said former IAGA boss Willie Walsh.
According to Walsh, the war-induced spike in energy costs has worsened the industry’s overall outlook for 2022 to include industry-wide losses.
In the past oil prices would take around six months to pass onto customers but now it could happen in a shorter timeframe because of market volatility and lower booking levels following the pandemic.
Walsh, who is now at the helm of the International Air Transport Association, said the industry was working hard to tackle staff shortages after thousands of UK travellers faced massive disruption due to en masse flight cancellations.
UK Holidaymakers are seeing their Easter plans cancelled as airlines and airports struggle to cater the increase in passenger demand after reporting high levels of Covid among their staff.
Just today British Airways cancelled 78 flights to and from Heathrow, while EasyJet axed an additional 30 from Gatwick – taking the total number of flights cancelled to more than 250 since last week.
According to consumer champion Which? the Easter holiday season – hailed as one of the drivers behind the industry’s recovery – could be entirely ruined if airlines don’t get a grip.
“Airlines need to get a grip of the situation to ensure the entire Easter holiday season is not spoiled,” Which’s travel editor Rory Boland said.
“They must meet their legal obligations and inform customers of their right to a refund or to be rerouted with other carriers if their flight is cancelled at short notice.”
Airlines are not the only ones suffering from disruption.
Passengers at Heathrow endured on Monday hour-long queues after the hub was hit by a combination of IT issues and staff shortages, while Germany’s biggest airport operator Fraport cancelled flights after struggling to hire enough people after massive job cuts.