登录×
电子邮件/用户名
密码
记住我
请输入邮箱和密码进行绑定操作:
请输入手机号码,通过短信验证(目前仅支持中国大陆地区的手机号):
请您阅读我们的用户注册协议隐私权保护政策,点击下方按钮即视为您接受。
17周年大视野精选
【高端限免】Back in business: are airlines ready for a summer travel boom?
生意回来了:航空公司准备好应对夏季出行高峰了吗?

The aviation industry is struggling to ramp up operations after two years of Covid disruptions, cost-cutting and redundancies | 在经历了两年的疫情中断、成本削减和大规模裁员后,航空业正在努力扩大运营以应对激增的出行需求。

For almost two years during the coronavirus pandemic, one of the two terminals at London’s Gatwick airport stood empty as passengers stayed at home and the travel industry battled for survival.
在新冠疫情的近两年时间里,伦敦盖特威克机场(Gatwick airport)的两个航站楼之一一直空着,因为乘客们都呆在家里,旅游业也在苦苦挣扎。
The mothballed South Terminal became an eerie place: the shutters were drawn at shops and restaurants, baggage carousels and boarding gates were closed, and motion-sensitive lights flickered on to interrupt the darkness. Police used the empty space for training drills, and many of the planes were left indefinitely on the tarmac, their engines wrapped in covers to protect them.
停用的南航站楼成了一个阴森恐怖的地方:商店和餐馆都拉上了百叶窗,行李转盘和登机口都关闭了,闪烁的自动感应灯打破了黑暗。警方利用这片空地进行训练演习,许多飞机被无限期地放在停机坪上,发动机被包裹在保护罩中。
Gatwick was not alone. The aviation industry was in the deep freeze after demand for flying collapsed because of travel restrictions brought in around the world to control the spread of Covid-19.
盖特威克并非孤例。世界各地为控制新冠疫情传播而实行的旅行限制,导致飞行需求大幅下降,航空业陷入深度冻结。
Airline and airport executives bemoaned a historic crisis and many governments funnelled direct cash support to help the industry survive. Companies shed tens of thousands of jobs, loaded up on debt and parked planes to ride out the disruption.
航空公司和机场高管哀叹这是一场历史性危机,许多政府直接提供现金支持,以帮助航空业维持生存。航空公司削减了数以万计的工作岗位,增加举债,并停飞飞机以度过危机。
But after 24 months of crisis management, passengers are suddenly coming back so quickly that the industry does not know what to do with them.
但经过24个月的危机管理后,乘客们突然如此迅速地回归,以至于航空业不知道该如何应对。
The number of scheduled flights has recovered to 89 per cent of 2019 levels this month, having fallen to just a third in April 2020, according to a Financial Times analysis of data from Cirium, a consultancy.
英国《金融时报》对咨询公司Cirium的数据进行的分析显示,在于2020年4月下降到仅三分之一后,本月的定期航班数量已恢复到2019年水平的89%。
The revival comes as border restrictions loosen across much of the world, setting off a scramble at airports and airlines to ramp up operations, rehire staff and get planes back into the air.
随着世界大部分地区放宽边境限制,机场和航空公司纷纷扩大运营、重新招聘员工并让飞机重新起飞,复苏随之而来。
Some markets were more resilient than others, particularly larger countries such as the US and China, which were shielded by continued demand for domestic flying. But the industry is now recovering around the globe, even in parts of Asia-Pacific where borders have just begun reopening.
一些市场比其他市场更有韧性,尤其是美国和中国等较大型国家,它们受到持续的国内飞行需求的保护。但现在全球范围内的航空业正在复苏,甚至在边界刚刚重新开放的亚太部分地区也是如此。
Easter was the first busy period in two years for many markets and a dry run for the peak of the northern hemisphere summer months of July and August.
对许多市场来说,复活节是两年来的第一个繁忙期,也是北半球7月和8月夏季高峰的预演。
“The demand that we’ve seen over the last five weeks has been historic. We’ve never sold more tickets in any period in [our] public history . . . it’s been remarkable,” says Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines’ chief executive.
达美航空(Delta Air Lines)首席执行官埃德•巴斯蒂安(Ed Bastian)表示:“我们在过去五周看到的需求是历史性的。在(我们的)公共历史上,我们从未在哪个时期售出过这么机票......这太了不起了。”
The surge vindicates airline bosses who insisted that demand for travel would come back as soon as travel restrictions disappeared, and it will inject critical revenue into cash-strapped companies.
航空公司的老板们坚持认为,一旦旅行限制取消,旅行需求就会恢复,这一激增证明了他们是正确的,并将为现金紧张的航司注入关键的收入。
But the rise in demand has also seen the industry crumple under the pressure, as many airports and airlines struggle to handle the growing passenger numbers, particularly after cutting costs to the bone during the crisis. That has left limited financial resources to plough into the restart.
但是,需求的增长也暴露了该行业在压力下的问题,因为许多机场和航空公司难以应对不断增长的乘客数量,尤其是在危机期间将成本削减到最低限度之后。这使得可用于重启的财力资源有限。
“The choices are unenviable,” says Martin Chalk, head of the pilots union Balpa. “Airlines suffering insufficient staff can either give up market share to deal with the disruption by putting on fewer flights, or take [the business] and risk not being able to fulfil their flights.”
“这些选择不值得羡慕,”飞行员工会Balpa的负责人马丁•乔克说,“员工不足的航空公司要么放弃市场份额、减少航班数量以应对中断,要么接下(生意),冒着无法完成航班的风险。”

A challenge to the network

航空网络面临的挑战

The recovery in the US is ahead of most of the rest of the world, as its strong internal market led flight schedules to reach more than 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by last summer.
美国航空业的复苏领先于世界其他大多数国家,其强劲的国内市场航班使航班数量在去年夏天就达到了疫情前80%以上的水平。
However, the experience in the US does not bode well, given that the industry has since suffered regular bouts of disruption as it struggled to respond to rising bookings. The number of cancelled flights hit record levels going into the 2021 holiday season, and airlines including Spirit, JetBlue and Alaska have said they will trim schedules for spring and summer to avoid further cancellations or delays.
然而,美国的情况并不是一个好兆头,因为自那以来,由于难以应对不断上升的预订量,该行业经常遭受间歇性的中断。在2021年假日季节,被取消的航班数量达到了创纪录水平,包括Spirit、JetBlue和Alaska在内的航空公司表示,它们将削减春季和夏季的航班安排,以避免进一步的取消或延误。
The union representing American Airlines pilots has launched a lawsuit against the airline and claimed it “was clearly ill-prepared for the rebound in airline traffic” and will “no doubt” struggle with its summer schedule, especially after extreme weather events, because there are not enough pilots to handle such a full, tight schedule smoothly. American said it is fully prepared for summer travel.
代表美国航空飞行员的工会对该公司发起了诉讼,并声称该公司“显然对航空运输量的反弹准备不足”,并且“毫无疑问”将难以应对夏季时间表,特别是在极端天气事件之后,因为没有足够的飞行员来顺利处理这样一份满负荷、紧张的时间表。美国航空称其为夏季出行做了充分准备。
“The whole [airline industry] infrastructure is not set up to snap back to these rapid growth rates,” said Scott Kirby, United Airlines chief executive, during an earnings call on Thursday.
美联航(United Airlines)首席执行官斯科特•柯比(Scott Kirby)在周四的财报电话会议上表示:“整个(航空业)基础设施尚未建立起来,无法迅速恢复满足这些快速增长。”
“It’s not just us: it’s the [Federal Aviation Administration], the [Transportation Security Administration], fuel vendors . . . All of those constraints [can] get in the way of a reliable schedule.”
“不仅仅是我们:还有(美国联邦航空管理局)、(美国运输安全管理局)、燃料供应商……所有这些限制都可能阻碍可靠的航班安排。”
At Gatwick, where there has not been major disruption, the airport overnight went from handling 300 flights a day to 570 when the South Terminal reopened in late March.
在没有出现严重中断的盖特威克机场,当3月底南航站楼重新开放时,机场的日吞吐量从300架次一夜之间增加到570架次。
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s chief executive, has compared the logistical operation to trying to open a medium sized airport from scratch, and the airport has warned passengers to arrive early to avoid queues as thousands of people crammed back through the terminals.
盖特威克机场的首席执行官斯图尔特•温盖特(Stewart Wingate)将后勤运作比作试图从零开始建设一个中型机场。该机场提醒乘客提前抵达,以免排队,因为成千上万的人挤在候机楼里。
Other parts of the industry have buckled. Passengers at Manchester airport have complained of five-hour long queues snaking out of the airport, while easyJet and British Airways cancelled hundreds of flights this month because of staff shortages exacerbated by a string of Covid infections among crew.
该行业的其他部分也受到了影响。曼彻斯特机场的乘客抱怨在机场外排队长达5个小时,而易捷航空(easyJet)和英国航空(British Airways)本月取消了数百架次航班,原因是机组人员中出现的一系列新冠感染加剧了员工短缺。
In Dublin, Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary has called for the army to be drafted in to help staff security at Dublin airport, while the queues in Sydney were headline news in Australia over Easter, when the city’s airport faced the busiest weekend in two years.
在都柏林,瑞安航空(Ryanair)首席执行官迈克尔•奥利里(Michael O’leary)呼吁征召军队来帮助都柏林机场的安保人员。与此同时,悉尼机场大排长队成为澳大利亚复活节期间的头条新闻,当时该市机场面临着两年来最繁忙的周末。
Mindful that they will not be able to fulfil their advertised schedules, some airlines in Europe have this spring been trimming the number of flights to protect against last-minute disruption, including BA where one in 20 flights this year has been cancelled, according to Cirium data.
考虑到无法完成已经公布的航班安排,欧洲一些航空公司今年春季一直在削减航班数量,以避免在最后一刻出现中断。根据Cirium的数据,英国航空今年每20个航班中就有一个被取消。
“What we are seeing already emerging in Europe is some less aggressive scheduling, as airlines start to take flights out to try to avoid operational disruption running through the network,” says Rob Morris at Ascend by Cirium. “They are still pretty much on a knife edge, and it doesn’t take much disruption to cause the network to start to fall.”
“我们在欧洲已经看到了一些不那么激进的安排,因为航空公司开始取消航班,以避免整个航空网络的运营中断,”Ascend by Cirium的罗布•莫里斯(Rob Morris)表示,“它们仍处于危急关头,不需要太多的中断就可以导致整个网络开始崩溃。”
In a sign of the rapid turnround in airlines’ fortunes, Morris says some airlines have even sharply increased ticket prices to try to damp demand.
莫里斯说,一些航空公司甚至大幅提高机票价格,以试图抑制需求——表明航空公司的命运正在迅速转圜。

Inside the hiring frenzy

大规模招聘背后

The pressure is particularly intense because as recently as the new year, many countries were still bringing in new travel restrictions and flight bans following the emergence of the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant. But at the heart of the problem lies a simple lack of resources.
压力特别大,因为就在新年前夕,在高传染性新冠病毒奥密克戎(Omicron)变体出现后,许多国家仍在实施新的旅行限制和飞行禁令。但问题的核心在于人力资源匮乏。
As a result of the pandemic, the industry slashed its headcount. There were 2.3mn fewer jobs in aviation by September 2021 compared with pre-Covid levels, according to research compiled by Oxford Economics. The figures include a 29 per cent fall in contracted staff working at airports, such as ground handlers, where 1.7mn jobs were lost.
疫情冲击之下,航空业进行了大幅裁员。牛津经济研究院(Oxford Economics)汇编的研究显示,到2021年9月,航空业的工作岗位比新冠疫情前减少了230万个。这些数据包括在机场工作的合同工(如地勤人员)减少29%,导致170万人失业。
Swissport, one of the world’s major ground handling companies, cut its workforce from 65,000 to 10,000 through a mix of staff cuts and furloughs in March 2020. By January this year, its staff was back up to 45,000 and the company is now working to rehire 17,000 new workers.
世界主要地勤公司之一Swissport在2020年3月通过裁员和强制休假的方式,将其员工队伍从6.5万人削减至1万人。到今年1月,该公司的员工数量恢复到4.5万人,目前正在重新招聘1.7万名新员工。
Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport, this month warned “resources are stretched” and said businesses around the airport needed to hire an extra 12,000 people to cope with demand in the coming summer.
英国最繁忙的希思罗机场(Heathrow)本月警告“人力资源紧张”,并表示机场周边企业需要再招聘1.2万人,以应对即将到来的夏季需求。
The situation has been worse 200 miles away, where the chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, Charlie Cornish, was forced to issue a public apology.
200英里外的曼彻斯特机场情况更糟,该机场集团的首席执行官查理·康尼什曾被迫公开道歉。
Cornish said the airport in the north of England had switched from “survival mode” as recently as January during the Omicron wave, to a “stunning recovery” in demand.
康尼什说,这个位于英格兰北部的机场在今年1月的奥密克戎感染潮期间,已经从“生存模式”转变为需求的“惊人复苏”。
“The simple fact is that we don’t currently have the number of staff we need to provide the level of service that our passengers deserve,” he said.
他说:“一个简单的事实是,我们目前没有足够数量的工作人员来提供乘客应该获得的服务水平。”
While the industry is going through a frenzy of hiring, heightened security arrangements make it harder to get new recruits on to the frontline quickly enough. Many destinations also still require passengers to present Covid documents to be manually inspected at check-in.
尽管该行业正经历一场招聘潮,但强化的安保安排让新员工难以足够快地进入一线岗位。许多目的地还仍然要求乘客在办理登机手续时出示新冠相关文件供人工检查。
Cornish has said Manchester airport currently has 200 staff going through background checks, while easyJet’s boss Johan Lundgren said last week that it had 100 staff awaiting clearance. That means anyone who can start immediately is hot property, and BA has offered prospective cabin crew a £1,000 sign-on bonus if they have already passed the necessary security checks.
康尼什表示,曼彻斯特机场目前有200名员工正在接受背景调查,而易捷航空的老板约翰•伦德格伦上周表示该公司有100名员工在等待审核批准。这意味着,任何可以立即开始工作的人都是炙手可热的资产,英国航空向未来的空乘人员提供1000英镑的签约奖金,前提是他们已经通过了必要的安全检查。
Stephen Cotton, general secretary of the International Transport Workers’​ Federation, a union, says the global chaos “is a direct result of bad decisions” by airlines and governments. He says governments should have extended more support, and industry cost-cutting had been “short-sighted”.
国际运输工人联合会秘书长Stephen Cotton说,全球混乱是航空公司和政府“错误决策的直接结果”。他说,政府应该提供更多支持,而行业削减成本的做法是“短视的”。
“We have lost over 2mn workers from the industry. And now it’s the workers who are left doing the jobs of two or three people and who are bearing the brunt of the frustration and anger of the passengers,” he says.
“该行业已经失去了200多万工人。现在是剩下的工人一个人在做两三个人的工作,他们还要承受乘客们的抱怨和愤怒。”他说。
The travel industry has denied cutting people too quickly, arguing that the uncertainty of two years ago meant that difficult decisions needed to be taken.
航空出行业否认裁员过快,称两年前的不确定性意味着当时需要做出艰难的决定。
“I would be reluctant to say that this is because of bad planning on the part of airlines and airports. I think to be fair to them they had little choice but to reduce their staffing at the height of the crisis,” says Willie Walsh, head of the International Air Transport Association (Iata) and the former boss of BA.
国际航空运输协会主席、英国航空前老板威利•沃尔什说:“我不愿意说这是因为航空公司和机场的糟糕计划。我认为公平地说,在危机最严重的时候,他们别无选择,只能裁员。”
Some industry executives and unions fear that aviation has become a less attractive career option in the current tight labour market, particularly given the antisocial hours and relatively poor pay.
一些行业高管和工会担心,在目前紧张的劳动力市场上,航空业已成为一个不那么有吸引力的职业选择,尤其是考虑到工作时间与社会脱节,薪酬也相对较低。
One baggage handler in Sydney says the volume of bags had become “overwhelming” at times, and his team was the busiest it had ever been. “People who have been working through the whole crisis are shocked and somewhat drained,” he said.
悉尼的一名行李搬运工表示,行李的数量有时会变得“难以承受”,他的团队是有史以来最忙碌的。”他说:“在整个危机中一直工作的人都感到震惊,而且有些筋疲力尽。”
“Quite a few” colleagues were looking elsewhere for jobs with better pay and conditions, he adds.
他补充称,“相当多的”同事正在其他地方寻找薪酬和条件更好的工作。
Marion Geoffroy, Wizz Air’s UK managing director, says it had “not been easy” to recruit, but that the company increased pay for UK cabin crew to help encourage new applicants. “I think the sector is becoming more attractive [again],” she says.
Wizz Air英国董事总经理马里昂•杰弗里(Marion Geoffroy)表示,招聘“不容易”,但该公司提高了英国空乘人员的薪酬,以帮助鼓励新的求职者。她表示:“我认为这个行业正(再次)变得更具吸引力。”

Return to profitability?

恢复盈利?

While delays and disruption cause frustration for returning passengers, they also illustrate a huge pent-up demand for flying that was barely imaginable during the pandemic’s bleakest moments.
虽然航班延误和中断会让回归的乘客感到沮丧,但它们也证明了对飞行的被压抑的巨大需求,这在疫情最严峻的时期是几乎无法想象的。
EasyJet parked its fleet for 11 weeks during the spring of 2020, and Lundgren says he was just happy to be back dealing with operational issues, having made it through “survival” mode.
易捷航空在2020年春天将其机队停飞了11周,而Lundgren称其很高兴在度过“生存”模式后能回来处理运营问题。
“The recovery is a great thing. I love having operational meetings right now, where we can talk about things like having too many customers in the system . . . Great, let’s sort it out,” he told an industry conference.
“复苏是一件好事。我喜欢现在召开运营会议,我们可以在会上讨论诸如系统中有太多客户之类的事情……很好,让我们解决这个问题。”他在一次行业会议上说。
EasyJet will fly close to its pre-pandemic flight capacity this summer, while BA owner IAG plans to restore its full 2019 levels of flying across the north Atlantic routes between Europe and the US.
易捷航空今年夏天的飞行班次将接近疫情前水平,而英航的母公司国际航空集团(IAG)计划将欧美之间北大西洋航线的航班数量恢复至2019年水平。
Wizz Air, the European low-cost carrier, is targeting flying 40 per cent more seats than in 2019 during the busiest summer months.
欧洲廉价航空公司Wizz Air的目标是在夏季最繁忙的几个月比2019年增加40%的运力。
The recovery will help begin to repair the industry’s finances, which were decimated by the pandemic. Several airlines, including Norwegian and LatAm, filed for bankruptcy, while even the strongest carriers loaded up on debt to help them through the collapse in passenger numbers. Iata said last year that 40 per cent of the $269bn in government handouts to the companies had come in the form of debt that needed to be serviced and eventually repaid, and that the industry’s debt burden had grown by $220bn from 2019 to the end of 2020.
这轮复苏将有助于开始修复航空业因疫情而严重受损的财务状况。包括挪威航空(Norwegian)和拉美航空(LatAm)在内的多家航空公司已申请破产,而即使是实力最强的航空公司也在增加举债,以帮助它们度过乘客数量暴跌的难关。国际航空运输协会去年表示,在政府向这些公司提供的2690亿美元援助中,40%是以债务的形式提供的,这些债务需要付利息并最终偿还,从2019年到2020年底,该行业的债务负担增加了2200亿美元。
Overall, the trade body forecasts the global industry will still lose $11bn this year given that passenger numbers will not fully recover, taking overall net losses between 2020 and 2022 to $200bn.
总体而言,该行业组织预测,鉴于乘客数量不会完全恢复,全球航空业今年仍将亏损110亿美元,使2020年至2022年期间的净亏损总额达到2000亿美元。
While the three largest US carriers posted first-quarter losses, American, United, and Delta all expect a profitable second quarter, with United and Delta predicting profitability for the full year, despite spikes in fuel prices. United anticipates a record quarterly profit during the current three-month period.
虽然美国三大航空公司第一季度报告了亏损,但美国航空、美联航和达美航空均预计第二季度将实现盈利。尽管燃油价格飙升,但美联航和达美航空预计全年将实现盈利。美联航预计第二季度的利润将创历史新高。
For many airlines in Europe, the ramp up into the peak summer season is set to mark a turning point between multibillion-euro losses and a return to profitability, regardless of the disruption.
对欧洲的许多航空公司来说,不管是否出现中断,进入夏季高峰将标志着从亏损数十亿欧元到扭亏为盈之间的一个转折点。
“This is it, 2022 is the year [European] airlines get profitable again, especially short haul leisure carriers,” said Alex Irving, an aviation analyst at Bernstein.
伯恩斯坦(Bernstein)航空分析师亚历克斯•欧文(Alex Irving)表示:“就是如此,2022年是(欧洲)航空公司重新盈利的一年,尤其是以短途休闲为主航空公司。”
Ryanair’s O’Leary has said he is aiming for €1bn profit in the current financial year beginning in April, while in the US some airlines first returned to profit during a spike in demand last summer.
瑞安航空的奥利里表示,他的目标是在自4月份开始的当前财年实现10亿欧元的利润,而在美国,一些航空公司在去年夏季需求激增期间首先实现了盈利。
The rebound has been driven by leisure trips and people visiting friends and family abroad, while the recovery in business travel has been slower. Still, this key profit engine for many companies has also shown signs of life. Delta said domestic corporate sales in March were 70 per cent of 2019 levels.
这一反弹是由休闲旅行和出国探亲访友推动的,商务旅行的复苏则较为缓慢。不过,对许多航空公司来说,这一关键的利润引擎也显示出了复苏迹象。达美航空表示,3月份的国内企业销售额达到了2019年水平的70%。
The travel industry’s recovery has come despite the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and soaring inflation, and some executives question whether the surge in leisure travel is here to stay, or a one-off release from two years of pandemic restrictions.
航空出行业在俄罗斯入侵乌克兰和通胀飙升的背景下实现了复苏,一些高管质疑此轮休闲旅行激增是会持续下去,还是说只是两年来疫情限制的一次性释放。
“The return of demand is very welcome, though it is unclear whether the current surge in outbound leisure demand is sustainable,” Heathrow airport said this month.
希思罗机场本月表示:“需求的恢复非常值得欢迎,尽管不清楚目前的出境休闲需求激增是否可持续。”
Edmond Rose, a consultant and former airline executive, says travel had dipped during previous global slowdowns, leaving the outlook for the economy critical to the travel industry’s fortunes.
咨询师、前航空公司高管埃德蒙•罗斯(Edmond Rose)表示,在前几次全球经济放缓期间,出行曾出现下滑,因此经济前景对航空出行业的命运至关重要。
Some executives also privately question whether reports of nightmare delays could put people off booking summer travel, which would be an effective if unwelcome way to solve the overcapacity issues.
一些高管私下里还质疑,有关噩梦般航班延误的报道是否会让人们放弃预订夏季旅行的机票,这将是解决预订过多问题的一种有效方法,尽管不受欢迎。
Bookings data shows there was a “relative slowdown” in ticket sales for flights leaving the UK in early April, coinciding with media reports of flight delays, says Olivier Ponti, an executive at aviation data company ForwardKeys.
航空数据公司ForwardKeys的高管奥利维尔•庞蒂(Olivier Ponti)表示,预订数据显示,4月初离开英国的机票销售出现了“相对放缓”,与媒体报道有关航班延误的时间相吻合。
“It is difficult to know if that slowdown was prompted by media reports or other factors,” he says, “or whether it’s just a temporary blip.”
“很难知道这种放缓是由媒体报道还是由其他因素引起的,”他说,“抑或只是暂时的波动。”
版权声明:本文版权归FT中文网所有,未经允许任何单位或个人不得转载,复制或以任何其他方式使用本文全部或部分,侵权必究。
设置字号×
最小
较小
默认
较大
最大
分享×