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Airline and airport executives spent the past two years trying to convince everyone it’s safe to fly during a pandemic, touting reduced touch points and hospital-grade filters. Little did they know how overwhelmed they’d be once travel came roaring back.

From Sydney, where passengers are waiting for hours to check in, to chaotic scenes in India and Europe, where Deutsche Lufthansa AG is canceling hundreds of flights, the aviation industry doesn’t have nearly enough people to run operations smoothly, even as post-summer demand for travel is still unclear.

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