11-May-2010 10:32 AM

EUROCONTROL issues first air delay study for Europe

EUROCONTROL released (10-May-2010) a study on the propagation of air transport delays in Europe. The study found between 40% and 50% of delays in Europe are actually reactionary or knock-on delays. Findings include:

  • In general, hub-and-spoke flights have less reactionary delay than point-to-point and low-cost flights because they have a higher ability to absorb delays during the turn-around time. On the other hand, low-cost operations absorb notably more delay in the block to block phase than the other operations;
  • Short delays tend to propagate longer ones through the network, in some cases an initial short delay can cause three times as much delay to later flights;
  • Major hub airports affect dozens of other airports through reactionary delays, but affect their own operations most – with up to 56% of delay returned to an airport after a first delayed flight;
  • 50% of primary delays are recovered during the next flight. [more]