The average delay per flight in 2022 increased to a 5-year high of 17.3 minutes per flight, compared to 2021 where the average delay per flight was 9.2 minutes per flight. The number of flights increased, this by 48% when compared to 2021.
Arrival punctuality for the year sharply deteriorated, with only 64.5% of flights arriving within 15 minutes or earlier than their scheduled arrival time (STA).
The poor delay performance in 2022 was strongly influenced by the aviation industry in general struggling to accommodate the high numbers of passengers and flights following the declines of the COVID-19 pandemic, consequently delays within airline and airport operations increased.
Further analysis into the causes of delay shows reactionary (knock-on) delay contributed the most to the average delay per flight with a 48% share of delay minutes, translating to 8.0 minutes per flight.
Airline causes, such as ground handling, staff shortage related delay ranked second with 4.9 minutes per flight.
En-route ATFM delay sharply increased to 1.8 minutes per flight. There were significantly more ATFM capacity issues in the network in 2022.
The Ukrainian crisis generated ATFM delays from 22 February 2022 as traffic flows shifted following the closure of the Ukrainian FIR. Karlsruhe UAC saw delays from a combination of ATC capacity, weather and increased complexity due to military traffic. Industrial action returned to the network, with French ATC and Italian ATC both striking during the year. There were also ATM system implementations in Reims, Praha and Lisbon ACCs.
Airport delays also increased, as many of the major European hub airports struggled with labour shortages and adjusting their operations to accommodate the increasing numbers of passengers during the start and peak summer season months.
Governmental delays, those mostly associated to COVID-19 documentation checks, fell, with only the start of the year seeing some higher delay for this cause, as the Omicron variant spread in Europe.