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Airport chaos

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Read on - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 7/2022 vom 28.06.2022
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Travellers wait in a long queue to pass through the security check at Heathrow Airport in London.

1 IT’S WHAT many have been looking forward to for so long: a holiday abroad. But rather than getting the rest and relaxation they were hoping for, people are facing jam-packed departure halls, staff shortages and queues so long they miss their flights – if their flight hasn’t already been cancelled.

2 During the last two and a half years when almost no one was travelling because of the Covid-19 pandemic, plane travel went down drastically. Because so little was going on, a lot of people who worked at airlines and airports lost their jobs. At the peak of the pandemic, around 191,000 European aviation workers were made redundant, Euronews says.

3 Now that people are travelling again, there are not enough staff to check people in, handle baggage, or do the security checks at airports. There are also not enough staff for the flight crews, including pilots. The news site MSN says that even before the pandemic, qualified commercial pilots were hard to come by. The pandemic made things worse and now there is a serious pilot shortage.

4 Of course, if a plane does not have enough people to make up a crew, the flight has to be cancelled. That is just what happened last month to thousands of Brits who had their flights cancelled at the last minute. Those who hadn’t left home yet could think of themselves as lucky: many others had their flights cancelled while they were on holiday, leaving them stranded abroad.

5 EasyJet, Britain’s biggest air carrier, cancelled 80 flights during the Platinum Jubilee weekend, leaving children holidaying with their families unable to attend school and those needing to be at work on Monday morning in trouble. Some who were able to drive home did – even if it took hours.

6 Ahusband and wife from the Midlands found themselves stuck in Berlin after having their Sunday flight back to England cancelled. Because the man’s parents live in Hanover, the couple were able to borrow their car. The drive to England took 12 hours, but they were back at work on Monday morning, the couple told the Times.

7 EasyJet is hoping to avoid more chaos by cancelling flights now – weeks ahead of schedule: “Making these cancellations is not something we take lightly but what’s worse is to cancel our customers’ plans on the day that they are ready to fly”, its chief operating officer, Peter Bellew, told the Guardian newspaper.

8 Already in May, British Airways cut a tenth of its flight schedules until October – around 8,000 round trips – because of the trouble it had during the Easter holidays. But it’s not just British airlines that have been struggling. Airport chaos has been a problem all over Europe.

9 On the Saturday of Pentecost weekend, the Dutch airline KLM stopped bringing passengers from other European cities into Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport because of the large crowds and mayhem in Schiphol. The airline had already cancelled 50 flights before the weekend.

10 Lufthansa, the German air carrier, is cancelling nearly 1,000 flights over the summer because it can't find enough staff. Around 900 domestic and short-haul European flights that had been scheduled to depart from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich in July have been cancelled.

11 Striking workers will make things even more difficult for those travelling by plane. Cabin crews at Ryanair, the budget airline giant, may go on strike this summer in several European countries. Workers at airports in Italy and France have already gone on strike.

12 Business Insider writes that things will probably be bad all summer long. Air Council International – Europe’s trade body for airports – have predicted that delays are inevitable at two-thirds of European airports.

13 Aviation expert Julian Bray told MailOnline it will take months until things are better again. He advised that people should think about cancelling their holiday “up to Christmas”.

0 CHAOS “"keIÅs‘ — overcrowding Überfüllung — understaffing Personalmangel — cancellation “Ækœnts´l"eIS´n‘ Streichung — strike Streik

1 to look forward to s.th. “"fO…w´d‘ sich auf etw. freuen — abroad “´"brO…d‘ im Ausland — rather than “"rA…D´‘ anstatt — rest Erholung — relaxation “Æri…lœk"seIS´n‘ Entspannung — to face s.th. sich etw. gegenübersehen — jam-packed (coll) rappelvoll — departure hall “dI"pA…tS´‘ Abflughalle — staff shortage “"SO…tIdZ‘ Personalmangel — queue “kju…‘ Warteschlange

2 – 3 to go on los sein — peak Höhepunkt — aviation worker “ÆeIvi"eIS´n‘ Beschäftigte(r) in der Luftfahrt — to make s.o. redundant “rI"dønd´nt‘ jdn. entlassen — to handle baggage “"bœgIdZ‘ Gepäck abfertigen — qualified “"kwÅlifaId‘ qualifiziert — commercial pilot “k´"m‰…S´l "paIl´t‘ Berufspilot — to be hard to come by schwer zu finden sein — serious “"sI´ri´s‘ massiv

4 – 5 to make up bilden —stranded gestrandet — air carrier “"kœri´‘ Fluggesellschaft — Platinum Jubilee weekend “"plœtIn´m "dZu…bIli…‘ feierliches Wochenende anlässlich des 70-jährigen Thronjubiläums der Queen — to attend school zur Schule gehen — in trouble “"trøb´l‘ in Schwierigkeiten

6 – 8 Midlands “"mIdl´ndz‘ zentraler Teil Englands — to find o.s. stuck festsitzen — couple “"køp´l‘ Paar — to avoid vermeiden — ahead of schedule “"Sedju…l‘ weit im Voraus — to take s.th. lightly (fig) etw. auf die leichte Schulter nehmen — chief operating officer “tSi…f "Åp´reItIN‘ Leiter(in) des operativen Geschäfts — to cut streichen — atenth ein Zehntel — flight schedule Flugplan — round trips Hin- und Rückflüge — Easter Ostern — to struggle Probleme haben

9 – 10 Pentecost “"pentIkÅst‘ Pfingsten — Dutch niederländisch — mayhem “"meIhem‘ Chaos — domestic flight Inlandsflug — short-haul flight “"SO…thO…l‘ Kurzstreckenflug — to be scheduled to do tun sollen — to depart abfliegen — hub Drehkreuz — Munich “"mju…nIk‘ München

11 – 13 cabin crew Kabinenpersonal — budget airline giant “"bødZIt dZaI´nt‘ große Billigfluggesellschaft — to go on strike streiken — all summer long den ganzen Sommer über — Air Council International “"kaUnts´l‘ Dachverband der Flughafenbetreiber — trade body Branchenverband — to predict voraussagen — inevitable “I"nevIt´b´l‘ unvermeidlich — two-thirds zwei Drittel — to advise raten — up to bis

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