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After two years of pandemic, air traffic collapses

Text: Cuba News 360 Newsroom

After two years with practically zero international flights, air traffic has collapsed in an unprecedented way in recent days. More than 10,000 delayed flights and 1,700 cancellations were recorded at airports around the world this week, according to tracking data from the specialized site FlightAware.

According to specialists, the number could double by the end of the week. The first places that presented problems were the airports of the United States during the trips for the July 4 celebrations, then Asia and Europe have become the epicenter of delays and cancellations.

London’s Heathrow airport apologized to passengers whose trips were disrupted by staff shortages and warned it could ask airlines to cut more flights from their summer schedules to reduce tension if the chaos persists.

Heathrow, Britain’s busiest airport, said service levels have been unacceptable at times in recent weeks, with long queues for security, delays in helping passengers with reduced mobility and lost or late-arriving luggage.

The arrival of summer in the northern hemisphere and the massive return to travel after two years of coronavirus restrictions has flooded Europe’s airlines and airports, which have been left without staff after laying off many pilots, cabin crew, check-in staff, ground staff and baggage handlers.

As well as Heathrow, Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport also continues to face understaffing problems at the start of the summer holidays, leaving queues of up to two hours to access the airfield, despite the fact that airlines have been canceling flights to reduce the pressure on the airport.

In Australia, 40% of flights operated by Virgin Australia and 35% by Qantas-owned budget carrier Jetstar were delayed, as were 29% by Australian flag carrier Qantas.

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