air travel, 2018, delays, flights, number, Eurowings, Germany, Ryanair, airlines, Condor, Air Berlin, fleet, strike, weather

Flight delays double in Germany in 2018

Germany has seen around double the number of delays in the first half of 2018 compared to last year.

Almost 1,500 flights in Germany suffered a delay of three hours or more in the first half of the year – twice as many as in the same period last year, The Local reports. But airlines are questioning the figures.

There were 1,466 flights delayed for long periods between January 1 and May 28, a report by Rheinische Post reveals using data from EUClaim. The same five months in 2017 saw just 738 delays.

Airlines with the biggest number of delays in 2018 are Eurowings (442), Lufthansa (393), Ryanair (280), Condor (212) and Tuifly (139).

Commenting on the report, all of the airlines blamed strikes in France, Italy and Greece and severe storms across the continent, while Ryanair doubted the data altogether.

Crowded skies
Increasing air traffic may also play a role. Following the bankruptcy of Air Berlin, both Eurowings and Condor have expanded their fleets and “there have been delays in putting these flights into service,” a Condor spokesperson told Rheinische Post.

But delays may continue in summer, with the threat of further strikes by Italian and French air traffic controllers. Unions in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy are also threatening strikes against Ryanair.

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