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Eurowings flies on time

In April, more than 88 per cent of our flights were on time.

From now on, Eurowings will publish here how punctual we are on your journeys. In April, we delivered 88 per cent of our passengers to their destinations on time – six percentage points higher than in the same period last year. Delays caused by air traffic control held back our punctuality figures in April, which would otherwise have been even better. On the positive side, Eurowings was able to avoid knock-on delays thanks to its well-organised operational processes.

How do irregularities occur?

Air traffic can be affected by a variety of factors – for example, the weather, strikes or technical issues. These can often only be predicted or influenced to a certain extent. In addition, demand for air travel remains high. Air traffic continues to grow and is now reaching full capacity both on the ground and in the air. The airspace over Europe in particular is full. The result: traffic jams happen on air routes too.

What kind of delays are due to air traffic control?

Airlines rely on air traffic safety and air traffic controllers when operating flights. They are responsible for controlling the airspace and air traffic. Currently, however, there is a shortage of pilots to take on the increased number of flights. European airspace is particularly busy. Air traffic controllers try to make the best use of airspace and reallocate flights from the upper to lower airspace areas. However, these areas are not much less busy – and on top of that, there is more air resistance. This costs time and uses more kerosene. In addition, European airspace is fragmented, which means that flights within Europe may be controlled by a number of national air traffic control authorities. The result: traffic jams and delays on air routes are inevitable. This situation could be improved by the EU and its member states reinforcing their initiatives. You can get more information about this on the German Aviation Association (BDL) website.

What is Eurowings doing to ensure flights are on time?

Eurowings has been one of the most punctual and reliable airlines in Europe for months. This is due to numerous steps we have taken since the end of 2018 to ensure greater punctuality and stability in flight operations – both on the ground and in the air. For example, we have significantly increased the number of our reserve aircraft. We have introduced what we term ‘breakwaters’ to minimise knock-on delays: clusters of longer ground times for individual aircraft in the middle of the day to absorb any delays from the day’s morning schedules. In addition, we have extended our flight and ground times to add a bigger buffer to flight schedules and to better absorb any delays.

How does Eurowings manage its flights?

The lights never go out on one designated floor in the Eurowings headquarters at Cologne Bonn Airport. The Integrated Operations Control Center (IOCC) is the nerve centre of the entire Eurowings flight operation, working all year round. 

Why do irregularities still happen?

We do all in our power to get our passengers to their destinations punctually and reliably. But, quite simply, in some areas our hands are tied. As an airline, we cannot improve the situation all on our own. All the stakeholders involved – airlines, airports, air navigation services and policy-makers – need to do their part to create a more stable environment for air transport. Politicians – whether at the Federal or European level – are responsible for ensuring that air traffic control operates properly and that airports are equipped with the adequate technology. They still need to take further steps and measures to eliminate the bottlenecks in structural capacity.

What can I do as a passenger?

Our analyses have shown that a significant reason for delays is too much hand luggage. For this reason, we inform our passengers in advance by email and text about the possibility of checking in hand luggage free of charge at check-in for flights which are booked to capacity. But we need our passengers’ up-to-date contact details to be able to reach them. We make another round of checks at the gate as we can only allow as many pieces of luggage into the cabin as there is capacity. The less hand luggage passengers bring into the cabin, the faster the boarding process and the more punctual the departure. Every passenger who sticks to the luggage rules helps make this process more efficient, contributing to a punctual departure.

How can I get information on the status of my Eurowings flight?

If your Eurowings flight is cancelled, you can change your booking online to an alternative Eurowings flight either before or after the planned departure time free of charge or alternatively cancel it.

Cancelled flights can also be rebooked or cancelled using an Internet-enabled mobile phone via the mobile portal, the Eurowings iPhone oder Android app.