According to the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), the average waiting time for flights for the first half of the year was 47,000 minutes per day, which is 133% more than in the same period last year. In July, the departures were delayed by an average of 20 minutes, and the maximum waiting time was 337 minutes (more than five hours).
Most of the delays are due to staff shortages, limited airport capacity, weather conditions and strikes. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged European governments and market players to take action on the situation. To meet the needs of travelers, the airlines increase the number of destinations and flights, which means that the industry’s revenues should grow: according to Eurocontrol, in recent years its profit before interest and taxes has reached 9.6%. At the same time, investments remained at the same level.
“Now Europe is at the top of the summer season, and many travelers will be extremely disappointed by the delays in flights. We do not have the opportunity to correct the situation this year, but we are well aware of what steps need to be taken. Thanks to investments, government support and air service providers, we can – and should – improve performance in the next”, commented IATA CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.