The quarter started well with lower levels of delay in January 2020, despite several French ATC industrial actions throughout the month.
However this coincided with traffic levels beginning to fall towards the end of the month predominantly on long haul city pairs between the EU and China as the COVID-19 crisis in Europe began.
February 2020 showed higher delays with further French ATC industrial action, as well as severe weather causing airport delay, notably at Amsterdam Schiphol and London Heathrow airports.
Traffic continued to fall with the epidemic hitting Italy in the second half of the month, with airlines starting to adjust their schedules to cancel or reduce operations to Northern Italian airports.
The final month of the quarter March 2020, saw one further French ATC industrial action, Spain implemented a staff reduction programme as the COVID-19 crisis worsened, resulting in increased en-route ATFM delay, as well as some airport delays.
The trend of declining traffic sharply accelerated mid-month due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. US restrictions on European passengers started to affect flight schedules from 13 March, by the end of the month the Top 5 airline groups operated some 90% less flights. States were also experiencing sharp decreases in flights, at the end of the month Italian airports had seen the worst with almost two thirds fewer flights.
Learn more in the full report.