Traffic decreased in March by 5.6% compared to March 2012. The traffic was the lowest level for the month concerned since 2004. The “Good Friday” dip that typically occurs during the Easter period, an extra week of the winter schedule occurring during the month and two airline strikes (Lufthansa and Iberia) contributed to the traffic decline in March 2013.
Total ATFM delays increased by 17.6% compared to March 2012 mainly due to airport ATFM delays. The average ATFM delay per flight was 0.8 minutes, a slight increase on 0.7 minutes in February.
En-route ATFM delay per flight was 0.34 minutes.
Highlights of the month were:
- Increased airport delays mainly due to adverse weather conditions at London Heathrow and Paris Ch. De Gaulle, infrastructure issues at Frankfurt Main, and new arrival and departure procedures at Oslo Gardermoen airports.
- High traffic demand and temporary capacity reductions in Nicosia ACC during the critical financial and economic discussions affecting the country.
- Ongoing staff shortages and technical problems in Langen ACC.
- Planned capacity reductions in Vienna ACC for transition to the new COOPANS system.
- Significant delay improvement at Istanbul Ataturk airport as a result of local procedural improvements and increased staff.
- Successful transfer of the new operations room in Ljubljana ACC from 13 March with no detrimental network effect.
- An ATC industrial action in France on 5 March had minimum disruption at network level but the flight cancellations due to Iberia strikes between 4-8 March and a Lufthansa strike on 21 March had an impact on traffic.
The average en-route ATFM delay per flight to date is 0.24 min/flt, which is below the guideline value of 0.3 min/flt required to achieve the annual interim target of 0.6 min/flt at year end.