Travel

Holidaymakers facing ‘worst ever’ travel disruption, Ryanair boss warns

HOLIDAYMAKERS are facing a year of travel disruption across Europe, Ryanair’s chief executive has warned.

Eddie Wilson has said air traffic control delays are the “worst ever” despite there being 15 percent less flights in the year compared with before pandemic lockdowns.

In the week to July 31, European airspace handled an average of 30,718 flights a day, with a combined delay of 116,624 minutes each day on average.

Almost 90% of those delays were picked up en-route, with capacity and staffing problems the root cause of 51% of disruption.

Weather was a factor in 28% of delays.

He said: “The underlying problem across Europe — even if you have the aircraft, you’re not cancelling [flights] and you’ve got the crew — is air-traffic control.

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“It is the single biggest delay for all airlines by a country mile.”

Saying there needs to be a big recruitment drive or delays will continue, he added: “There is a chance this will go on into next summer unless they get their acts together now.

“Because there is about 10 or 15% less traffic this summer in Europe compared to 2019, yet they still can’t handle it and we’ve got the worst delays ever.”

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