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Ryanair boss blames European air-traffic management for flight delays

One in 5 Ryanair flights this summer season is being delayed by air-traffic management suppliers: that’s the declare from the chief govt of the airline’s foremost operation.

Eddie Wilson, CEO of Ryanair DAC, informed The Independent: “The major factor that’s affecting all markets, whether you’ve enough staff or you’re an airline that doesn’t have enough staff, is air-traffic control [ATC]. It is the culprit.

“We planned better, we’ve got the right amount of people, but still we will have delays this summer because of air-traffic control.

“It is taking 20 per cent plus out of our punctuality at the moment.

“That’s making life really, really difficult. And there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for ATC.”

Mr Wilson was notably crucial of air-traffic management organisations in Germany and France for delays to overflights. Almost all flights from the UK to Portugal, Spain and Italy overfly French airspace, whereas routings to Croatia, Greece and Turkey cross Germany.

“The Germans and the French need to hire more people so we can all get on our way this summer,” he stated.

“That’s the ‘roundabout in the sky’ that everyone from Ireland and the UK has got to get through, to get to Spain, to get to Portugal and to get to Italy.”

“There are 15 per cent fewer flights and there are 20 per cent more delays this summer because of air-traffic control capacity.

“Even airlines that are organised, like Ryanair, that have everybody on the plane, everybody with their bags – they are waiting unnecessarily on runways to get departure clearance.

“That means that days are longer for our crews and it’s much harder to organise.

“Those airlines that don’t have enough staff – they end up having even more problems and unplanned cancellations.

“But if we could sort out ATC, that would give airlines a fighting chance.”

Mr Wilson stated that operational crises of the type which may have an effect on aviation each few weeks are actually each day occurrences in Europe

“We would normally have a 90 per cent plus record here, sometimes 95 per cent,” he stated.

“This summer it has been at 60 per cent. That’s a huge drop.”

Budget airways succeed by extracting excessive productiveness from plane. They usually schedule a aircraft to function two round-trips with a minimal “turn” of 25 or half-hour between them, adopted by a “firebreak” of maybe 45 minutes to get well misplaced time earlier than one other 4 flights.

Delays construct up throughout the day. One instance is the Wednesday night Ryanair flight from Stansted to Cologne. It is scheduled to reach at 11.20pm, however the final time it was on schedule was on 22 June. Since then the typical delay has been one hour.

Crew ending shifts late may have a knock-on impact on future scheduling.

The Ryanair boss stated air-traffic management delays are inflicting environmental hurt by retaining plane on the bottom with their engines working ready for permission to take off.

He predicted: “It’s going to continue into next summer unless the German and the French governments adequately resource their ATC facilities.

“It is the infrastructure and it needs to be fixed.”

A spokesperson for the German air-traffic management supplier, Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), rejected the criticism, saying: “DFS’s infrastructure must be fully available even with minimal traffic.

“Therefore, no staff was reduced during the crisis, but further recruited, especially young air traffic controllers.

“Around 100 young people started their air traffic controller training at DFS in each of the crisis years 2020 and 2021.

“In 2022 and the following years, we plan to hire around 140 new employees to start their training each year. Air traffic controllers need about four years to finish their training and we want to be well prepared for the future.”

The Independent has approached the French air-traffic management supplier, the DSNA, for remark.

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