Published On: Tue, Apr 9th, 2024

British tourists hit by summer holiday warning set to bring airport chaos | Travel News | Travel

A summer holiday warning over a lack of planes could be about to bring misery for British holidaymakers. Travel experts say production problems at plane manufacturing giants Boeing and Airbus could leave some airlines unable to fulfil their schedules.

Problems come as the travel industry expects to see demand surpass pre-pandemic levels with 4.7 billion people expected to travel in 2024 compared with 4.5 billion in 2019.

As a result flight operators are spending billions on repairs to keep flying older, less fuel-efficient jets and paying a premium to secure aircraft.

John Grant, a senior analyst at travel data firm OAG, told Reuters: “We can expect a strong performance from airlines throughout the summer with some particularly high airfare.”

Passenger carriers will receive 19 percent fewer aircraft than they expected this year due to production issues at Boeing and Airbus according to Martha Neubauer, a senior associate at AeroDynamic Advisory.

Some of the reduced availability of new aircraft is down to the Boeing safety crisis that erupted after the January 5 Alaska Airlines blowout, which saw regulators cap the production of its 737 MAX.

While as many as 650 Airbus A320neo jets could be grounded in the first half of 2024 for inspections to deal with an engine flaw.

Budget airline giant Ryanair has already cut a number of summer routes as a result of a lack of aircraft, while Southwest and United airlines in the US have also been forced to cut back on flying.

In a press conference, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said: “We don’t really know how many aircraft we’re going to get from Boeing.

“We’re pretty sure we’re going to get 30 to 40. We’re reasonably confident we’re between 40 and 45. And now we are far less confident we’re going to get between 45 and 50.”

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