Jean Luc Devisscher
October 1, 2020

The number of European flight delays fell in July 2019, during the peak holiday season, according to new data released by Eurocontrol.

Airlines have been bracing for another difficult summer after a combination of air traffic control strikes, staffing shortages, bad weather and structural issues in Europe’s air traffic management (ATM) system led to widespread delays and disruptions in 2018. The European ATM organisation said that total network traffic rose by 0.9% year-on-year to 1.09 million flights in July 2019, compared with the same month in 2018, while year-to-date traffic was up by 1.7% to 6.41 million. Delays on arrival for all causes fell by 16.7% per flight to an average of 16 min, and were down by 3.9% to 12.4 min on average for the first seven months of 2019. Total air traffic flow management delays per flight were also down by 12.5% to 4.02 min in July 2019 and by 7.7% to 2.27 min year-to-date.

Airline group Airlines for Europe (A4E) has been calling for reform of the air traffic management system, as well as better measures to prepare for and mitigate the impact of strikes. “The European Commission and the member states must implement the EU’s delayed seamless European airspace by allowing the recommendations from the recent Airspace Architecture Study to be fully realised,” A4E managing director, Thomas Reynaert said , adding: This would result in more efficient routings, quicker journeys and lower costs, not to mention a 10% reduction in CO2 emissions.”