5 things to know for August 5

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The combination of strikes, staff shortages and high demand has caused chaos for airlines around the world this summer, CNBC reports. To help them manage airlines have taken a wide range of actions to try to keep things under control.

British Airways announced this week that it has suspended sales of short-haul flights from London’s Heathrow Airport after the airport requested a reduction in passenger numbers, CNBC reports. Similarly, Dutch airline KLM will limit ticket sales for flights departing from Amsterdam in September and October.

German airline Lufthansa canceled 3,000 flights from Frankfurt and Munich at the start of the summer. It also canceled 1,000 other flights after a ground staff walkout in July. Swiss International has canceled some upcoming flights between July and October due to constraints with air traffic control as well as ground and airport service providers.

The heat wave that hit Europe this summer led travelers to rethink their destinations as the heat has caused train cancellations or delays, record temperatures and wildfires in tourist areas, reports The New York Times. Although some travelers have waited years to make their trips, many have adjusted their plans to change destinations, rework their daytime schedules or delay their trips.

“It was new,” said Karen Magee, senior vice president and general manager of travel agency In the Know Experiences. “I can’t remember the last time people called us and said, ‘Maybe we’ll skip Rome and go for a more beach-friendly city.’ Or maybe they shortened their route in the city and chose to get to the countryside a little earlier than they had planned.

Host Hotels & Resorts President and CEO Jim Risoleo said during his company’s second quarter earnings call that hotels are protected against the effects of inflation because consumers are willing to spend their money on travel and experiences, reports HNN’s Dan Kubacki.

“Hotels benefit from being able to reprice rooms each night before costs rise, even during times of high inflation, as was the case in the 1970s,” Risoleo said. “Second, consumers and businesses have much more cash on hand with better debt and debt service ratios than they did before the great financial crisis of 2008.”

The US Department of Labor reported the US economy added 528,000 jobs in July, according to the Wall Street Journal. The wage bill has returned to pre-pandemic levels and unemployment has fallen to 3.5%.

While the number of job openings remains high, openings fell in June to their lowest level in nine months, the newspaper reports. The number of layoffs has increased, but it is not generalized.

“Companies used to look for layoffs as the first option,” said Greg Daco, chief economist for EY-Parthenon. “Now we see slower hiring as the No. 1 option, followed by targeted hiring freezes, followed by targeted layoffs, followed by broader layoffs.”

After a two-year hiatus, the annual Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich will be back, reports the Associated Press. It will be held from September 17 to October 3 without any pandemic restrictions.

Before the pandemic, Oktoberfest drew around 6 million attendees each year to sample produce from beer halls, restaurants, fish and meat grills, wine vendors and attractions, the AP reports. Many people joining the festivities dress in traditional Bavarian clothing, such as Dirndl dresses or Lederhosen.

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