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Revealed – the worst countries for flight delays in Europe

The five worst countries for flight delays in Europe included Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy - with record disruption across the continent

Germany, Britain and France are the worst countries for flight delays and cancellations in Europe as disruption hits record levels, new analysis has revealed.

More than 180,000 – or 29% – of Germany’s 630,000 flights between 1 January and 22 September this year were disrupted, while one in four UK air passengers faced delays of at least 15 minutes or cancellations – affecting 175,000 journeys.

This is already 26,000 more UK flights than those affected throughout the whole of last year, while cancellations have increased 86% from the same nine-month period in 2017.

In France, 120,000 (28%) of flights did not depart on time or at all, with Spanish, Italian and Dutch passengers also frustrated.

Although seventh in flight compensation company AirHelp’s table for disruptions with just under 50,000 affected flights, Portugal scored worst in terms of percentage at 34%.

Of the 28 countries it surveyed in the European Union and Switzerland, Slovakia (1,000 flights and 19%), Slovenia (3,600 and 34%) and Lithuania (2,100 and 14%) had the best results.

 

2018 is record year for worst countries for flight delays

Paloma Salmeron, air passenger rights expert at AirHelp, said: “2018 has seen the worst flight disruption across Europe in history.

“Millions of travellers have suffered severe delays or cancellations by airlines, but nowhere more so than in Germany and the UK.

Flight delays
Europe has experienced a record year for flight disruption (Flickr/Bruno Sanchez-Andrade Nuno)

“Airline staff strikes, lack of pilots and bad weather have all contributed to a year of air travel misery and chaos for passengers.

“And the situation is only set to get worse. The current Brexit aviation deal limbo combined with a predicted increase in European flights to 12.4 million by 2024 is likely to cause even more havoc in European airspace.

“Whichever way the law turns in the UK and EU negotiations, we urge airlines to work tirelessly to help their passengers throughout the flight disruption.

“We urge passengers affected by flight delays or cancellations to check whether they are entitled to financial compensation.”

 

List of worst countries for flight delays in the EU and Switzerland

Ranking Country Total flights Number of delayed flights* Number of cancelled flights Percentage of disrupted flights**
1 Germany 630,000 167,420 14,040 28.80
2 United Kingdom 692,800 164,690 10,640 25.31
3 France 429,900 107,120 13,930 28.16
4 Spain 592,400 127,190 5,980 22.48
5 Italy 420,200 96,940 5,100 24.28
6 Netherlands 180,500 40,020 2,480 23.55
7 Portugal 143,400 46,810 1,980 34.02
8 Switzerland 160,500 40,650 2,940 27.16
9 Denmark 102,200 22,090 1,230 22.82
10 Sweden 142,100 32,320 2,950 24.82
11 Austria 96,600 23,130 1,710 25.71
12 Poland 112,500 26,810 1,730 25.37
13 Greece 124,400 29,140 660 23.95
14 Belgium 74,600 20,680 800 28.79
15 Ireland 77,400 15,480 1,370 21.77
16 Finland 81,700 17,080 690 21.75
17 Hungary 32,800 8,310 320 26.31
18 Romania 54,200 11,430 300 21.64
19 Croatia 34,300 9,720 360 29.39
20 Luxemburg 16,900 2,670 320 17.69
21 Bulgaria 24,100 4,580 170 19.71
22 Cyprus 26,500 5,790 100 22.23
23 Estonia 12,900 2,640 260 22.48
24 Latvia 22,200 2,620 110 12.30
25 Malta 14,400 3,460 40 24.31
26 Lithuania 15,300 1,940 170 13.79
27 Slovenia 7.900 2,560 100 33.67
28 Slovakia 5.200 960 50 19.42