Airlines’ fares are at all-time highs, and people worldwide are looking for the best deals for their holiday travels, but the World is running out of Planes. From legendary names in aviation like Air Lease Crop to plane-making giants like Airbus and Boeing have reported an alarming tightening in the supply of components for jet manufacturing as well as the skilled labor for this purpose.
Air Lease Corp has reported late deliveries as delayed as seven months, ranging from supply chain issues to labor shortages, as they cannot work from home during these Covid times. On the other hand, many existing planes went out of order or required intensive maintenance to be functional either because prolong non-use or because they weren’t bothered to be maintained over decreased travel demands in the near past. Combined with soaring oil prices and increasing demand due to Christmas and new year holidays, the fares have risen to an all-time high.
In light of the situation, world-renowned plane manufacturers like Airbus have decreased their delivery goal to 700 planes this year. At the same time, both Airbus and Boeing are reported to be booked till 2029 for their best-selling single-aisle jetliner. While some local airlines might have the wherewithal to offer lower fares, it will further add to the issue for other carriers.
Which will be “leading to even higher fares in the long run,” as Ajay Awtaney, the founder of frequent flier website LiveFromALounge.com, said. He also mentioned that people got used to the lower fares in initial Covid times when the whole World closed their ports for visitors and the demand worldwide plummeted. Now with, gradual China’s reopening and rising demand will push the fares to new heights, adding to the demise of customers and airlines alike.
While issues like tight supply chains, skilled labor shortage, and rising oil prices are forecasted to not go anywhere in the near future, airlines have turned to extending the ownership cycle of existing jetliners, i.e., to use the existing planes for an extended period of time. This comes with costlier and frequent maintenance as well as higher fuel consumption than a newer plane which in turn translates to higher costs for the airline.
Meanwhile, the World is embracing a recession after the pandemic, with many companies laying their workers off. Workers at plane manufacturing and supply can rest easy with their job security as it already faces a labor shortage.