The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s largest business travel association, has called on the European Commission to address the staff shortages hindering the industry’s recovery. 

The current mandatory six-week background checks for employees in the airline sector are causing a bottleneck and delay to the smooth travel experience expected by business travellers. Therefore, GBTA has called for the European Union to temporarily adjust these regulations as a matter of priority to relieve pressure on airports and the airline industry.

Forecasted to reach pre-COVID 19 levels of US $1.4 trillion in revenue by 2024, business travel bookings are on the rebound. However, travel managers have cited staffing shortages and government policies and constraints as having a significant impact on corporate travel programs, according to the latest poll of GBTA members. Travel suppliers share the same concerns, as over half reported staffing shortages have impacted their travel programs the most.

“Companies and employees are returning to travelling for business, fueled by the need to generate revenue and retain and acquire new business,” said Catherine Logan, Regional Vice President, EMEA for GBTA. “Staff shortages, however, are having a significant impact on travel programs and are threatening to affect the speed and trajectory of recovery of the business travel industry. GBTA is calling on the European Commission to prioritise and expedite the needed safety background checks to help alleviate the pressure at airports. The EU must set policies and procedures in place for the future as a precautionary measure should the situation arise again.” 

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