European flights expected to decline by 1.3% in 2012

Posted: 7 May 2012 | EUROCONTROL | No comments yet

The first 3 months of 2012 saw a total of 2.12 million flights in Europe…


The first 3 months of 2012 saw a total of 2.12 million flights in Europe. This is a decrease of 3.3% on the first 3 months of 2011, after allowing for the leap year.

The busiest day so far this year was Friday 30 March when there were 28,746 flights.

As mentioned by Jacques Dopagne, Director Network Management, “the decrease is bigger than the 1.3% decline forecast by EUROCONTROL for 2012 as a whole. A weak start to the year was forecast, and indeed within Europe flights are very close to forecast, but the recovery of traffic to and from North Africa is slightly slower than expected, leaving traffic for the quarter slightly below forecast overall”.

For the first 3 months of 2012, the average departure delay per flight from all causes was 9.5 minutes, with 54% being primary delays and 46% reactionary delays carried over from earlier flights of the same aircraft. Airlines reported that primary delays were 51% due to airlines, 20% for weather, 15% for airport 4% en-route ATFM with the remaining 10% being attributable to security/immigration and miscellaneous causes.

A particular improvement was that airlines reported en-route ATFM delay per flight decreased by 41% to 0.2 minutes in Q1 2012 from 0.4 minutes in Q1 2011.

In the first three months of the year, the charter segment was the only one to grow. This is partially due to the fact that it was strongly affected in 2011 by the Arab spring and lost a lot of ground.

However with the bounce-back effect from last year, growth in the charter market is back.

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