ATC disruptions impact on-time performance of European airports

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Global travel data provider OAG has released the results of its Punctuality League 2019. The report provides a comprehensive ranking of the world’s largest airlines and airports in terms of on-time performance (OTP).

According to the report, regional disruptions in air traffic control (ATC) created a tough environment for Europe’s airlines and airports in 2018. Most notably Paris Charles de Gaulle, a regular contender among the world’s top Mega Airports, failed to make this year’s top 20. Down from second, Madrid ranked sixth in this year’s Mega Airport rankings with an OTP of 79.28%. London Heathrow (OTP 75.54%) and Frankfurt (OTP 70.83%) both lagged behind previous performances – but not enough to leave them out of the top 20, where they ranked 15th and 19th, respectively. Amsterdam (77.7%) managed to defy the odds and retained its eighth spot among the world’s largest airports with a <1% increase in OTP.

On the carrier side, British Airways (OTP 76.07%) was Europe’s most punctual Mega Airline and the 10th most-punctual Mega Airline in the world. airBaltic, despite a small decline in OTP, ranked the second most-punctual airline in the world (OTP 89.41%). Facing similar repercussions from market challenges, easyJet moved up one spot to rank 14th among the world’s largest carriers (OTP 72.7%).

Showing across-the-board improvements, Qatar Airways moved up five spots to ninth overall in the world (OTP 86.04%) and No. 1 in the Middle East. KLM also improved significantly from 2018 – moving up 19 spots to rank 11th with an OTP of 84.57%.

Many of Europe’s low-cost carriers (LCCs) fell in this year’s rankings, mostly due to factors outside operational control. The region finished with only two airlines – Transavia (OTP 81.7%) and Norwegian (OTP 74.94%) – in the top 20 global LCC rankings, compared with five last year.

“2018 was a tough year for Europe’s aviation market,” said John Grant, senior analyst with OAG. “The region’s airlines and airports faced a perfect storm of industrial action, supplier issues and inclement weather – all of which combined to have a big impact on OTP. Considering the difficult circumstances, many of the region’s top carriers and airports performed quite admirably.”

Additional highlights from OAG’s 2019 Punctuality League include Moscow Sheremetyevo improving from third to take this year’s No. 1 spot (OTP 87.64%) in the Major Airport rankings. Minsk National Airport in Belarus led the way in this year’s small airport category (OTP 92.37%). Qatar’s Doha International retained its second-place ranking among the world’s Major Airports with an OTP of 85.05%.

“On-time performance is one of the single most important metrics in the travel industry. Every on-time arrival and departure creates a significant trickle-down impact that affects travelers, other airlines and airports, business, travel suppliers and more,” added Grant.

The OAG Punctuality League is derived from more than 57 million flight records using full year data from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018.

For more insights from the OAG Punctuality League 2019, download a copy of the full report by clicking here.

Interested in air traffic control improvement? Check out the ‘Management & Operations’ stream at the Passenger Terminal Conference, which takes place during Passenger Terminal Expo, on March 26, 27 and 28, 2019, in London.

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Dan originally joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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