Although there’s an increase in travel demand, the airline industry still has a lot of challenges to face.
Many airlines are suffering from delays and cancellations, and a pilot shortage has only made that worse. Some airlines are cutting down on routes altogether. Airfare prices continue to go up, and, according to one airline CEO, that won’t change anytime soon.
In Southwest Airlines’ second-quarter earnings call, CEO Bob Jordan had some news that won’t make passengers very happy — flight prices will probably not go down anytime soon. Things like higher fuel prices and increased staff wages will keep airfare prices higher than what many consumers might expect. He said, “We continue to experience both inflationary pressures and headwinds from lower productivity and efficiency.”
He also said, “Consumer and business sentiment is down, and there are data points out there that could indicate early signs of a slowdown. But so far, demand remains strong, and we haven’t seen material impacts to our business. As always, we’ll continue to monitor the environment and be ready to respond if needed.”
There is some good news, though. Jordan did mention that the company had reached its “pre-pandemic staffing levels in May 2022.” Southwest will continue to hire more staff, especially pilots, and they expect to add over 10,000 employees this year.
He said, “We are benefiting from getting better staffed, getting new employees through training and on the front line, adding more short-haul flying to provide better network stability, and adding more flying between crew bases.”
So if you’re planning to fly to Disney World (or anywhere else, for that matter), those flight prices are going to probably remain high for a while. Your best bet is to check those prices often, as they do fluctuate, and grab any kind of deal you see when it becomes available.
You’ll also need to be aware that delays and cancellations are still happening, so be sure to make yourself familiar with your airline’s policies about that. If you’re headed to Disney World, you can find all the current cancellation policies here.
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Have you scored a good deal on airfare recently? Let us know in the comments!