In 2018, delays amounted to more than 19 million minutes, 105 per cent more than in 2017, and the average en route delay per flight was 1.73 minutes, more than three times the target.
The member states of the European Union (EU) have this week voted on and accepted new Air Traffic Management (ATM) performance targets.
The targets set are at a lower level of ambition than they have been for nearly a decade and the airline community* has joined forces to challenge this.
With the European ATM system already creaking from a lack of capacity, growing delays, increased emissions and excessive costs, the airline community has voiced its outrage that the misery of increasing delays for passengers will continue for the next five years.
In 2018, delays amounted to more than 19 million minutes, 105 per cent more than in 2017, and the average en route delay per flight was 1.73 minutes, more than three times the target. The agreed proposal for 2020–24 therefore fails to address that the much needed capacity, already paid for by airlines, has simply not been delivered by Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and that this will further burden airlines and passengers with rising costs, delays and increased emissions.
Further to this, the European Commission (EC) recently commissioned an academic study on benchmarking of ANSPs. This study conservatively estimated EU-wide cost inefficiencies in the range of 25 per cent to 30 per cent. Despite this, the EC has not followed its own academic recommendations to address this cost inefficiency and has agreed to even weaker targets.
Montserrat Barriga, Director General, ERA, says: “Not only will the new ATM performance targets not incentivise Air Navigation Service Providers to improve their performance and provide Europe with the airspace network it so desperately needs, it will reward those that perform poorly, and in the process frustrate those that have delivered. As a result, it is important for ERA to stand alongside the airline community and highlight the evident and urgent need to set ambitious and sustainable performance targets.”
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.