Airport, Estonia, Tourism, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 04.06.2020, 14:34

Estonia: Extensive delays to be expected at European airports during summer season

BC, Tallinn, 24.04.2019.Print version
Extensive traffic jams are expected in the European airspace and at airports this summer, while delays will to a lesser extent occur also in Tallinn, according the Estonian daily Postimees reports LETA/BNS.

Sven Kukemelk, managing partner at aviation consultation company NA Advisory, estimated that from May to September this year, Tallinn Airport will see a daily average of one long delay of more than three hours and seven or eight shorter delays of approximately an hour in length each.

"Considering that approximately half of the passengers will also have to transfer in Europe, the travel plans of up to 40,000 people will potentially be ruined," he said.

While last year saw 11 million flights in European airspace, of which every fifth was late and by an average of 50 minutes, there are no expectations that the situation will improve this year. In March, alone, the number of delays rose 35 percent compared with the same period the year before.

Tanel Rautits, CEO of Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS, the company responsible for Estonia's air traffic control, said that this summer will be worse than last year in terms of the number of delays.

Although delays are also caused by rough weather conditions and the strikes of airport staff, the main bottleneck is still the inability of ground systems to keep air traffic working securely. There is a shortage of both people as well as new software.

Compared with the bottlenecks of Central Europe, the situation at Tallinn Airport is rather under control, but delays are still unavoidable.

According to Rautits, people should not plan flights to Central Europe with a very short period of time for transfer. "If the first flight is delayed, there is a high risk that you will not make it to the second flight," he said.

Kukemelk also suggested avoiding long flights crossing several countries and, instead of seasonal and temporary routes, rather opt for regular flights as the routes of those flights are more firmly in place and mostly hold higher priority.

The aviation analyst estimated that the situation will become even worse over the next three or four years. After that, a more effective software will be taken into use, thanks to which the throughput capacity will improve.

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