Operational data received directly from airlines describing all-causes for 2017 illustrated a story of increased delays translating to a yearly average all-causes departure delay of 12.4 minutes per flight, an increase of 1.1 minutes per flight on 2016.
2017 saw slightly poorer punctuality to that of 2016 with 80% of flights arriving on time compared to 81% in 2016. The difference between the percentage of delayed departures vs. the percentage of delayed arrivals increased highlighting increased schedule buffering by airlines.
A strong increase in daily flights of 4.3% in ECAC for the year is a common underlying factor in the main reported causes.
Reactionary (knock-on) delay increased by 6% and contributed 5.5 minutes to the 12.4 minutes average delay per flight.
Delays due to airline operations remained the main cause of primary delay, contributing 3.3 minutes to the average delay per flight, a 0.2 minute increase compared to 2016.
Airlines reported that en-route ATFM delays increased by 0.1 minutes per flight to 0.9 minutes per flight, following ATC capacity, staffing and en-route weather issues affecting Karlsruhe and Maastricht UACs during the year. Although fewer than 2016, ATC industrial actions in France also occurred.
Airport operations delay including ATFM (Figure 4) increased to 1.4 minutes per flight and was the second highest cause in the share of primary delay behind airline causes. In contrast to 2016, both Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and Istanbul Ataturk airports saw fewer delays, however, London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol experienced weather and airport capacity delays.
Operational cancellations decreased to 1.5% of planned flights, compared to 1.6% in 2016 with less industrial action in France during the year contributing part of this decrease.