Airline punctuality deteriorated in 2018, with 75.8%of arrivals punctual compared to 79.7% in 2017, with early arrivals stable at 9.5%.
Delays due to airline operations remained the main cause of primary delay, contributing 3.6 minutes to the average delay per flight, a 0.3 minute per flight increase compared to 2017.
Airlines reported that en-route ATFM delays increased significantly at 1.7 minutes per flight. Major reasons driving this were ATC staffing issues as well as convective weather in the summer. Industrial actions also occurred during the year causing further en-route delays.
Reactionary (knock-on) delay added 6.7 minutes to the average delay per flight due to an increase in primary delays (where ATFM en-route delay saw the largest increase). However, its proportion remained stable with a 45% share of total delay minutes.
Traffic growth also contributed to delays, average daily traffic increased by 3.8% in 2018 compared to 2017. In fact traffic growth may well have been higher had the delay situation not contributed to a jump in operational cancellations, which increased to 2.0% (from 1.5% in 2017).
Put together, all these factors resulted in an average all-causes departure delay of 14.7 minutes per flight, up by more than 2.3 minutes per flight on 2017 where the average delay per flight was 12.4 minutes.