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Expect travel woes for Christmas, warns travel exec

Passengers are being warned to expect disruptions to travel until mid-2023, the chief executive of Swissport (a provider of baggage handling and other aviation services to airlines such as Qantas and Virgin Australia) says.


Given demand will still outpace capacity, Swissport boss Warwick Brady told The Australian Financial Review that we are unlikely to see travel reliability to return until the middle of 2023. 


“By mid-year, whether it be the key airlines for Australia or the key inbound airlines, I think there will be a more natural balance of supply and demand,” he said.


“It will take another 12 to 18 months to get the whole industry back to a normal state but people are working hard to restore serviceability.”


According to Brady, because Australia was locked down longer than most of the world, our aviation industry was about six months behind other countries on the reliability front.


“The industry was astounded at the ramp-up in challenges it faced, especially the skills in aviation because governments had decimated the industry,” he said.


“Hundreds of thousands of workers left the industry – and those are skilled workers – and didn’t come back. So you ended up with a situation ... where all these various aviation services had a skills and labour shortage.


“Demand outstripped the capabilities of the industry ... that’s why you have seen the unprecedented operational challenges globally.”


He agreed many of these challenges would still be ongoing come the end-of-year holiday travel period, but said, “the industry is working hard to deliver on the demand coming through”.

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Published: 2 November 2022

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