Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Saturday, Apr 01, 2023

Airlines face further pressure over cancellations as one company benefits from the chaos

Airlines face further pressure over cancellations as one company benefits from the chaos

WH Smith reports bumper travel sales after airports are widely gripped by queues due to flight disruption which the government is demanding airlines tackle through better management of their schedules.

As airlines are told they must have "deliverable" schedules in a bid to avoid a repeat of the recent chaos at airports, one company has seemingly enjoyed a boost from the queues.

WH Smith, which has a major presence at UK airports, reported on Wednesday that it had seen bumper travel business trading during its third financial quarter to 11 June.

The end of May and early June saw tens of thousands of holidaymakers affected by delays and cancellations as airlines and airports grappled staff shortages.

The problems have existed since Easter when flight volumes rose after the end of COVID restrictions.

Following a hearing by MPs into the causes of the half-term mayhem on Tuesday, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued a joint letter to the aviation industry calling on companies to take "all possible steps" to "avoid the unacceptable scenes we have recently witnessed".

It stated that earlier cancellations are "better" than axing flights on the day of departure.

The Independent's travel editor Simon Calder, who was among the witnesses giving evidence to the parliamentary committee, told Sky News that British Airways and easyJet were the two airlines giving the most cause for concern.

"British Airways and easyJet are cancelling flights in extraordinary numbers," he said.

"BA have cancelled more than 100 short haul, European and domestic flights today but they cancelled those generally two or three weeks ago and gave plenty of warning.

"EasyJet cancelled 40 flights to and from Gatwick today and they quite often gave a few days and maybe in some cases, a few hours' notice.

"The letter... is aimed squarely at easyJet - the part which says you've got to have a 'deliverable' schedule."

He said there were lots of instances, he added, of the airline cancelling one of its frequent daily services and moving passengers onto different flights.

Both airlines, which cut staff after international travel was grounded in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic, told the MPs they were sorry for the disruption and working hard to bolster their schedules.

Under questioning, BA's representative refused to admit that its decision to axe more than 10,000 workers had damaged its ability to deliver services but it, like easyJet, argued that hiring efforts were being hampered by big delays in securing security clearances.

The return of passenger volumes since March has come as a welcome relief for airports and their associated businesses.

WH Smith said its UK airport shops performed better than rail when compared to 2019 levels - likely a consequence of many commuters continuing to work from home rather than offices.

The company said it expected its full-year performance to reach the higher end of analysts' forecasts because of the travel boost.

It credited the recovery in its North American and British markets, with its total travel business revenue at 123% of pre-pandemic levels in the quarter.

However, it said sales in its high street stores continued to lag those seen in 2019.

Shares were almost 7% up at the open.


Related Articles

Don’t Dismiss China’s Peacemaking Bid
China and Brazil have signed a new deal that will allow them to trade in their own currencies, bypassing the US dollar as an intermediary
Elon Musk and Others Call for Pause on A.I., Citing ‘Profound Risks to Society’
Nashville style execution
“We've had evidence prior to the pandemic that masks were largely ineffective at preventing community transmission of influenza “
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz:
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rejects being labeled a "billionaire"
Jamie Dimon is being deposed over JPMorgan Chase role in Epstein lawsuits
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
U.S. charges FTX's Bankman-Fried with paying $40 million bribe
Fallen 'Crypto King' Who Owes Millions to Investors Was Kidnapped and Tortured
Regulators blame social media for SVB's rapid collapse: 'Complete game changer'
AOC explains why she opposes banning TikTok
UK: Humza Yousaf replaces Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader and first minister in Scotland
In a dramatic U-turn against His Government: Judicial Reform Legislation Must Be Halted, Says Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman tours potential migrant housing in Rwanda as asylum deal remains mired in legal challenges
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
Jeremy Hunt insists his Budget will get young parents and over-50s back into work
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Mexican President Claims Mexico is Safer than the U.S.
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
BBC Director General, Tim Davie, has apologized, but not resigned, yet, following the disruption of sports programmes over the weekend
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...