Following previous half-term flight disruptions and potential summer flights disruptions in 2022, the CAA and Department for Transport have collaborated to write a letter addressed to airlines and airports with recommended improvements for operations. This comes in an attempt to boost the sector in time for the summer travel demand.
Following many disruptions in services over the half-term, the aviation sector and government alike have noted some issues that have arisen, with some consumers and businesses concerned about how this will impact summer flights going into the warmer months and approaching the summer holidays.
The collaborative letter from Richard Moriarty, the chief of the CAA, and Rannia Leontaridi, the director-general for aviation at the Department for Transport, was delivered on Tuesday the 14th of June. The letter recognised some efforts and faults and detailed five key points of improvement that could help the aviation sector approaching the boon of summer flights to come.
The CAA and Department for Transport acknowledged that some airlines and airports “continued to deliver a good service despite pressures” alongside many recent problems including air traffic control delays. They expressed an expectation for “all possible steps” to be taken in order to rise to and manage the summer flights demand.
The letter stated, “we all share a common goal to de-risk the summer period, but we believe more needs to be done to give us all better assurance that this goal will be delivered.”
“Let’s start with working together to make sure the summer is a great success for the British public,” the letter added. Following complaints that the government is not offering enough support to the travel industry and air sector as a whole, this statement has sparked comments and hope from some in the industry.
The five key points made by the CAA and Department for Transport read as follows:
- Airlines – airlines are to review summer flights schedules up to the end of September in order to develop deliverable services based primarily on their resources. Airlines should be resilient against “unplanned and inevitable operational challenges”, with cancellations announced as soon as possible.
- Airport Leaders – leaders should take the authority to bring together airlines, ground handlers, air traffic controllers, and Broder Force staff in order to ensure further coordination and strategy in their approach to the following months. The working groups formed in these airports will report to a “strategic risk group” that is to be created and run by industry bosses, chaired by the aviation minister, Robert Courts.
- Unavoidable Cancellations – when unavoidable cancellations occur, travellers must be “promptly, clearly, and empathetically communicated with” including informing consumers of their rights surrounding refunds and compensations. Refunds must be issued “in good time”, with the CAA stating that it “will not hesitate to escalate matters” for summer flights if necessary.
- Accessibility – improvements to accessibility services have been prompted, asking for improved assistance for the disabled and less mobile. The CAA specifically highlighted concerns surrounding the levels of assistance currently provided.
- Safety and Security – the safety and security of all air services for summer flights “must not be compromised” and security should not be taken for granted in order to meet the greater summer flights demand.
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