Lufthansa has warned the ongoing travel chaos is “unlikely to improve in the coming weeks,” as labour shortages and soaring levels of passenger demand rampage through Europe.
“The ramp-up of complex air transport system from almost zero to now almost 90 per cent is clearly not proceeding with the reliability, the robustness and the punctuality that we would like to offer you again,” chief executive Carsten Spohr wrote today in a letter to customers.
“We can only apologise to you for this.”
The chief executive said labour shortages at both infrastructure partners such as airports and ground handling services as well as at Lufthansa itself for the current situation.
“The ongoing war in Ukraine is severely restricting available airspace in Europe [and] this is leading to massive bottlenecks in the skies and thus, unfortunately, to further flight delays,” Spohr added.
To ensure smoother operations, a few weeks ago Lufthansa axed more than 900 July flights departing on Fridays to Sundays.
Cancellations at the airlines’ main hubs of Frankfurt and Munich totalled 2,200.
The German executive’s words echoed those of Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary, who last week said passengers would continue to have a “less than satisfactory experience” during peak season, especially at large airports.
“This problem is going to continue particularly at airports like Gatwick and Heathrow right throughout the summer,” O’Leary said last week. “It will be worse at weekends and better during the week.”