Throughout June 2022 people from around the world encountered air travel disruptions on a scale comparable only to March 2020, when the whole world was held in the first ever global lockdown. This summer, hundreds of thousands of travellers may need to look for other ways to move from point A to point B besides flying. According to Google Trends, searches for “Flight Cancelled” have surged amid airport chaos. The search interest for this term has doubled on a global scale in June 2022 compared to May 2022.
There are five locations where we see the most significant increase in interest related to flight cancellations – Jersey, United Kingdom, St Helena Island, Cyprus and Ireland.
The research team at TradingPedia looked into the different factors that caused distress over air travel in these locations.
Jersey air travel hindered by staff shortages in mainland UK
Google searches for “Flight Cancelled” in Jersey have dramatically increased by 352% in June 2022 compared to May. There are two main factors behind the stressful situation that passengers in Jersey faced in June this year – a significant amount of flights from and to London have been cancelled in the last few weeks due to staff shortages. Many of the British airlines are struggling to find workers and are not able to properly handle the increasing number of people travelling abroad.
Jet2, a British low-cost leisure airline, cancelled all flights between Jersey and Manchester from 28th of June 2022. The services of Jet2 from Birmingham and London Stansted have been halved from two flights a week to one.
Chaos at Most British Airports Caused by Worker Shortages
The United Kingdom is leading the way in “Flight Cancelled” searches. Google search data revealed that they have increased by 119% from May to June. The chaos witnessed at some UK airports is caused by staff shortages. During the Covid-19 pandemic, airlines cancelled thousands of flights, and the aviation industry had to reduce its workforce.
But at the moment, there is a travel boom mainly due to the long Platinum Jubilee weekend and school half half-term period. Another reason for the wave of travellers is that many countries lifted or relaxed Covid restrictions, allowing holidaymakers to travel without completing a PCR test.
The chaos and worker shortage has resulted in thousands of travellers missing their trip. The lack of workers forced many airlines to cancel hundreds of flights. The scenes of chaos, luggage piling up, and people sleeping on the floor made many Brits cancel their travel plans.
The Situation in St. Helena
In St Helena, the search interest for “flight cancelled” has also surged by 415% in June 2022 compared to the previous month. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Airlink suspended all flights to and from the island. But in February this year, the St Helena Government announced that the airline is to resume flights between South Africa and the island. In June, Qatar Airways announced that it penned a codeshare agreement with Airlink.
The main reason why people want to cancel their flights to St Helena is that they must isolate themselves for 10 days at an approved hotel or their home when they arrive. This strategy is used to prevent coronavirus transmission by people entering the island. In addition, passengers must be vaccinated against coronavirus to fly to South Africa.
Cyprus Affected by the Chaos at the UK Airports
The situation at the airports is exacerbated not only in the United Kingdom. Data shows that search interest for “flight cancelled” in Cyprus have risen by 31% in June, compared to May. The truth is that the mayhem at UK airports severely affected Cyprus. Flight delays and cancellations stressed travellers flying to and from Cyprus.
Hermes Airports reported that approximately 12% of the flights from the United Kingdom arrived with a significant delay in May. At the Paphos airport, 26% of the UK flights arrived with hour-long delays. In addition, 20 arrival flights and 21 departure flights to the United Kingdom were cancelled in May. Hotel chains and travel agencies fear that the chaos may result in reduced tourism.
Ireland, Chaos Grips Dublin Airport
The unprecedented increase in Irish looking to cancel their flights increased by 237% in June 2022 compared to May. A few days ago, about 1,400 passengers missed their flights due to the lengthy queues at the Dublin Airport. The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) offered compensation for people who missed their flights.
At the heart of the problem at Dublin Airport is the shortage of security staff. During the pandemic, Dublin Airport reduced their staff numbers. The Dublin Airport Authority added extra security lanes in a bid to tackle the chaos at the airport and handle busy travel periods. The DAA asked passengers to refrain from arriving too early for their flights because this causes delays and congestion in the terminals.