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Why under-40s deserted the airline industry, causing global delays

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For months the world has been gripped by airline and airport delays. Now the reason is clear – workers under 40 have deserted the industry. But where did they go?

The airline crisis that has disrupted flights and travel plans of millions around the was caused by a massive staffing crisis.

Airlines have been forced to scrap thousands of flights as airports cancel schedules and ask airlines to cut back on flights.

Now there’s more data about exactly what caused it.

In Europe this summer, the staffing crisis was predominantly caused by younger workers who left the industry during the pandemic, with no plans to return.

Only about a third of the EU’s air transport workers were aged under 40 in the first quarter of the year, which is far lower than the number working before the pandemic.

The numbers who just how serious the task is for airlines to lure back workers to overcome massive delays.

The aviation industry has been caught flat footed this year, as millions return to the skies for so called “holiday revenge”, making up for lost time abroad over the last two years.

Many of the younger workers were employed as cleaners, security and ground handling.

But those hours are also unsociable and often low paid. Meaning workers who left the industry did so for bigger reasons than just the pandemic shutdown.

And now they’ve had time to think about why.

Long delays at airports around the world.

Hiring the air-side roles is made harder by requirements for extensive training and security checks which take time, so candidates end up looking for easier work elsewhere.

“Fundamental changes in the business model have to occur for aviation to remain a competitive career option,” said David Huttner at PA Consulting Group Ltd.

“The industry has always been susceptible to staffing issues within key skill sets, but not at this level.”

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OpenAI to offer premium ChatGPT service

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OpenAI has announced a monthly plan that will give you priority access to the ChatGPT bot

ChatGPT Plus is set to cost $20/month, and allow a user the ability to use the chatbot even during peak times, where free users would have to wait.

The company also says the plan will give you “faster response times” and “priority access to new features and improvements.”

OpenAI will be sending out invitations for the service to people in the U.S. over the next few weeks, before expanding to other regions around the world.

This comes amid the company revealing that a mobile phone version of the chatbot is being developed.

Currently, it is only available as a computer program.

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Meta stocks soar in ‘Year of Efficiency’

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Meta Platforms has announced a better-than-expected sales quarter, as well as a USD$40 billion stock buyback.

The parent of Instagram and Facebook cut its cost outlook for 2023 by $5 billion, and projected first-quarter sales that could beat Wall Street estimates.

Meta stock surged nearly 19% in after-hours trade.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg described the focus on efficiency as part of the natural evolution of the company, calling it a “phase change” for an organisation that once lived by the motto “move fast and break things.”

“We just grew so quickly for like the first 18 years,” Zuckerberg said in a conference call. “It’s very hard to really crank on efficiency while you’re growing that quickly. I just think we’re in a different environment now.”

The cost cuts reflect Meta’s updated plans for lower data centre construction expenses this year.

In November, the company cut more than 11,000 jobs in response, a precursor to the tens of thousands of layoffs in the tech industry that followed.

“Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we are focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organisation,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.

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U.S. Fed Reserve hikes interest rates by 25 basis points

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The U.S. Federal Reserve has announced its latest interest rate hike

 
The 25 basis-point increase comes after a half-point hike in December, and a three-quarter-point increase the month before that.

And it came with the forecast that the Fed isn’t finished.

“We will need substantially more evidence to be confident that inflation is on a sustained downward path,” U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a press conference.

Powell noted positive signs that inflation was beginning to abate.

“We can now say I think for the first time that the disinflationary process has started, and we see it in goods prices, so far…but it is insufficient to signal an end to the rate hikes, though it would be stepping down from last year’s rapid pace of increases.”

Future rate increases would be in quarter-percentage-point increments.

“We will continue to make our decisions meeting by meeting, taking into account the totality of incoming data and their implications for the outlook for economic activity and inflation,” Powell added.

The decision lifted the benchmark overnight interest rate to a range between 4.50% and 4.75% – a move widely anticipated by investors and flagged by U.S. central bankers ahead of this week’s two-day policy session.

Inflation, based on the Fed’s preferred measure, slowed to a 5% annual rate in December.

The Fed hopes it can continue nudging inflation lower to its 2% target without triggering a deep recession or causing a substantial rise in the unemployment rate from the current 3.5%, a level rarely seen in recent decades.

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