Is panic in the global wind sector threatening the tourist season in Corsica?

Neglect or greed, airlines and international airports have been slow to recover, after two years of Covid. And they are not yet ready to face the summer activity. results, delays and cascading cancellations. It may be difficult to manage the influx of tourists to Corsica this summer.

While Hervé was handling the formalities at the car rental company, Lola, his wife, went to the screen showing the day’s departures.
– “So far, our flight to Lyon has been maintained”the maiden’s breathing, somewhat reassured. “But it’s still early. When noon comes, everything can change. I really hope I can’t cancel, I’ll be back to work tomorrow morning”.

The holiday couple was camping in the Agriates desert when they heard Easyjet was preparing to cut thousands of flights this summer. And he spent the end of his stay in Corsica in fear of receiving an email telling him his Bastia-Nice flight had been canceled. It was a letter from French Easyjet pilots that caused confusion. In a letter to management, which was made public, they believed that the company “is less prepared than other years”and fear of cancellations “on dimensions not seen in ten years”.

It’s going to get worse in the coming days, and that doesn’t worry anyone, it seems.

As the holidaymakers couple and their child headed to the departure lounge, breathing easy, an agent from Poretta airport was called to find out how they were feeling. The 30 -year -old’s smile says it all: “If it was only Easyjet that was the problem … It’s everyone who’s in the shit. We, in Corsica, for the moment, it’s fine. Just delays, and not really d ‘cancellations. But elsewhere, there’s panic. “It’s getting worse in the coming days, and no one seems to be worried …”

If you haven’t traveled recently, you may not know. But Eric*is right. In heaven, for a few weeks, it was a hell of a panic. The global airline industry is in the grip of a spectacular crisis. And major airports in Europe have to deal with stages of “mess”, according to a headline in the British daily The Guardian. Canceled flights, endless queues, tension between passengers and staff, planes flying without their passengers, blocked security …

All this to the relative indifference of the French media, obsessed with legislative elections.

The sector pays the price for massive layoffs during a pandemic.

Vueling, Volotea, Easyjet or Ryan Air are multiplying cancellations. But low cost isn’t the only concern. Air France-KLM canceled 225 flights last month. British Airways, 124 flights on June 1 only. Lufthansa, for its part, announced it would cut 900 flights in July. Same story with Brussels Airlines, Swiss Airlines, Eurowings …

The problem is the lack of staff, at airports as well as within airlines, while airport activity has made a spectacular leap in recent weeks, and close to pre-Covid peaks. Ground services, pilots, air traffic control, security, no sector was saved. “We warned, at the beginning of the crisis, that we should not delete everything, because when recovery comes, we will have a problem”Livia Spera, the general secretary of the European Federation of Transport Workers confessed to the AFP in early June. “The sector is paying the price for massive layoffs during the pandemic”.

Especially those who left had no desire to return their uniform, as Paul Chiambaretto explained to us, professor at Montpellier Business School and director of the Pégase Chair, the first French chair devoted to economics and air transport management: “These people realized, during the crisis, that they had career opportunities in other sectors and ultimately, it was very difficult to get them back to work in the airport sector. And so at present, airports are trying to mobilize. their suppliers., their subcontractors to try to convince a certain number of people to return to work or to attract new profiles ”.

Everyone suggests that Corsica, a popular destination for tourists during the summer, should be affected. Especially since several companies have already indicated that they will review the airfoil that serves one of the four airports on the island.

We tried to contact them, to ask them if traffic to and from Corsica would suffer in the situation. No success. Easyjet just responded to us, with a generic message, the same sent, one would think, to all the newsrooms that requested their communication service:

“EasyJet operates up to 1,700 flights across its network, carrying up to a quarter of a million customers daily.
Airlines currently face operational challenges across the industry.
In the event of an disruption, our customers are notified via email, SMS and can consult the status of their flight in real time via the Flight tracker on our website or mobile application.
We work with all of our partners and constantly review our day-to-day operations to ensure we meet the needs of our customers. »

In short, drive around, see nothing.

We also asked CCIs to find out if the island’s airports have been affected by more than average cancellations and delays, and if a particular system has been considered. No more results.

We do not have to go through what others go through.

Air Corsica

On the Air Corsica side, we were more talkative. It must be said that the regional company is in a more enviable situation than the competition. Luc Bereni explains this to us: “During the Covid -related health crisis, we had a very clear social policy, which did not destroy any job. The employees, with their skills, their experience, were still there. 100% .We don’t have to be subject to what others are subject to ”.

The chairman of the executive board ensures that there is no question of cancellation of flights during the summer. But we have to deal with possible collateral damage: “we may, at random instances, fall victim to tensions at certain transport chain links, in sectors over which we do not fully control”.

The message is clear: because air traffic is precision mechanics, countless delays, traffic security jams, counters being smashed in Caen, Marseilles or Gatwick, should cause collateral damage even for companies not primarily concerned. . And, therefore, mess up the schedules of their passengers.

In recent weeks, companies have multiplied messages to ask their customers to show up early at the airport, just to avoid congestion … A commendable step, but seemingly fragile due to the size of the problem.

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