We are approaching the end of the summer season slowly and it has been quite a ride! Covid is almost over but there is still some after-effect of it. And it’s mainly that the aviation sector didn’t anticipate the recover and the traffic demand, so there was just not enough crew at almost every post; cabin crew was a big issue at the start of the season and then it was airport staff like ground crew, maintenance, gate agents, security agents and so on. This led to massive delays and cancellation. Almost every companies were impacted by that. But some prepare better than others.
Early and mid summer, my company had to do a lot of cancellation and most of the time it was a last minute cancellation which is not the right way to do it to our trustworthy passengers.
Because the issue was with people calling sick, fatigue or just not showing to work, and because we were understaff there was not enough standby crew and then the flight was cancelled at the last minute.
So after weeks of massive disruption they came with a solution. Cancel specific flights in advance in order to be more resilient, so passengers have time to rebook and change their plans even though of course it is still not a perfect solution for our passengers unfortunately, but at least they have some time to re book. Then our crew can be home standby or airport duty, which is just a standby at the airport itself.
Also, July was bad concerning delays. Alsmot every flight was delayed due to ATC slot, it is a restriction imposed by Air Traffic Control, because they may be in lack of staff and so can’t operate every aircrafts in the air (congested airspace). Then there were strikes, weather and as I said before one of the biggest issue, the lack of ground crew at airports, which led to more delays and disruption.
August was better, we could definitely see some change and in a good way. Slots were shorter and less often. Also it depends from the airport you are operating and which airspace. Being in Faro, Portugal, I have to say that everything is « easy going ». There is no issue at all if you compare it with London Gatwick (of course!).
On a personal side, I’m getting back my old ‘habits’ from the cockpit. I feel more and more confident and I really see a difference since a few months ago. After all it was 2 years with no flying! I still have so much to learn but it is exciting! The base is amazing, most of the crew here are quite young, we have a wonderful team! Every crew is super nice, Captains are super cool and I feel like most of them are really enjoying sharing their knowledge; I have a tendency of asking a lot of questions!
Lifestyle in Faro is great, I have to say that I fell in love with Portugal and Faro, Algarve. Weather is just amazing, landscapes are wild and beautiful and it’s calm! I was expecting much more tourists so that was a good point because beaches were not crowded and even the city center (which is quite small!).
But soon, my experience in Faro will come to an end; I just got an offer to move somewhere else, not too far from Faro, just a bit more North of it.