European flights hit 93% of pre-Covid levels

The number of flights across European airspace hit 93% of pre-Covid 2019 levels in the first 12 days of this month, according to new figures.

The statistics from Eurocontrol show 32,514 average daily flights in the week to September 12, 1.4% below the first week of the month as traffic levels started to receded from the summer peak.

The top ten airlines reduced capacity by 0.9% on the previous week, according to the network snapshot.

On a year-to-date basis, network traffic was at 91% of 2019, and up 11% on last year.

Punctuality deteriorated when compared to the equivalent week in 2019. 

Gatwick saw delays throughout the week from a combination of air traffic control staffing, ATC capacity, capacity and weather delays. 

Amsterdam Schiphol was “significantly affected” on the September 9 by low visibility, resulting in delays. 

Lisbon airport experienced daily regulations for capacity and weather. 

Early morning low visibility caused delays at Stockholm Arlanda on September 11 and 12.

Arrival punctuality was down by 6.5 percentage points to 71.1% with departures falling by 7.6 percentage points to 63.8% as seasonal weather – thunderstorms, convective activity and low visibility – impacted the network.

While  en-route delays were “significantly below” 2022 levels, they still amounted to an average of 57,800 minutes a day, with the main causes being capacity and staffing, and weather.

 However, this was an improvement compared to the equivalent week in 2022, Eurocontrol reported. 

The average jet fuel price stood at $3.02 USD/gallon on September 8, increasing by 0.5% over two weeks. 

Current prices have increased by 5% compared to the beginning of the year.

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