Airlines Experience Their Worst Year Yet

Airlines have had a tough year so far, and it’s not over. Amidst TSA delays, Zika outbreaks, and instability in Europe, airlines have had a difficult 2016. Sheffield School of Aeronautics knows better than anyone that airlines are struggling at the moment.

This year began with a promising outlook for airlines all over the world. Customer satisfaction with airlines was increasing, bookings for the Olympics and overseas travel was booming, and the price of fuel was at a near all-time low; it should have been a great year.

Returns released for the second quarter showed revenue drops for some major airlines and the reasons are no mystery. First, as Sheffield reported last month, the delays at terminals caused by TSA representatives due to chronic understaffing have caused major frustration. Airlines are struggling to maintain customer confidence due to high fees and long delays, which the airlines blame on delays caused by the TSA.

Second, the outbreak of Zika a few weeks before the Rio Olympics has caused nothing but headaches for travelers and airlines alike. Most airlines are issuing refunds of different types to passengers who refuse to board planes amidst fear of contracting the virus.

Lastly, the instability in Europe has taken a role. ISIS, the military coup in Turkey and the infamous Brexit, have made European travel a nightmare, and for some, not even an option. What may be next for the anti-wave of airline travelers is uncertain.

Couple these temporary setbacks with long term uncertainty stemming from a shrinking talent pool for future aviation jobs, and the panic experienced by airlines may eventually change airlines forever.

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