Chinese airports see higher proportion of delayed flights

Insight from the World Routes Strategy Summit in Chengdu, China.

Airports in China are facing more flight departure delays than facilities across the rest of the globe, according to data from FlightStats. The news was presented by Richard Evans, a senior consultant at Flightglobal Ascend in a market analysis presentation entitled ‘Market Growth: Constraints & Opportunities’ during the World Routes Strategy Summit in Chengdu, China.

A benchmark comparison on airline and airport flight delays has always been difficult due to the different measuring tools used across the world and by individual regulators.  However, by using FlightStats as a consistent data source to enable, Evans said a like-for-like comparison can be made.

“This clearly shows that Chinese airports are seeing a higher proportion of delayed flights than other similar size airports around the world,” he added.

In China delays are constant whereas European delays are highly seasonal, according to the consultant. Eurocontrol shows that in June 2016 27% of all flights departing were delayed by more than 15 mins, including around 7% due to en-route air traffic control (ATC) constraints.

In winter the delay level averages around 15-20%, with approximately 4% due to en-route ATC. Most of the delays are down to airport capacity issues at the most congested hubs like Istanbul Ataturk or London Heathrow airport or at small island airports.

“An example, from FlightStats is London Gatwick which had 24% of flights delayed in January 2016, but 52% in July 2016,” added Evans.

In the USA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) measures arrival delays. For the first half of this year, 16% of total flights were delayed. The worst affected major airport was New York’s La Guardia with 26%, followed by San Francisco International at 24%. Around half the delays were due to local airport or en-route ATC delays. 

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