Have flight interruptions improved in the first part of the year in Spain?

· So far this year, about 100,000 flights have been interrupted in Spanish airports, slightly improving the figures for 2018, in which 114,000 interruptions occurred

· From January to August 2019, more than 2,500 flight cancellations and more than 96,300 delays exceeding 15 minutes have been registered at airports in Spain

· Among Spanish airlines, Vueling is that more has improved compared to last year
Although in Spain this year flights are being more punctual than in 2018, during this summer one of the highest levels of air disruptions has been registered, mainly due to the different airline strikes that are occurring in recent weeks. This is the result of a nationwide study of more than 580,000 flights between January and August 2019, conducted by the world’s leading airline company, AirHelp. The study shows that, despite the efforts made by airlines and airports, there is still an average of approximately 550 flights interrupted daily in Spain.

Cancellations and delays at airports in Spain

After last year there were twice as many flight interruptions and, in some countries up to triple, compared to the same period of 2017, a new AirHelp study reveals that in 2019 the total number of incidents has decreased in Spain by 12% compared to 2018. In total, so far this year, Spain’s airports have registered more than 2,500 flight cancellations and more than 96,300 delays.

From the analysis of the more than 580,000 flights in Spain, the airports of Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca lead the ranking of airports with more delays and cancellations so far this year. In terms of delays of more than 15 minutes, Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez airport tops the list with more than 22,000 flights that did not depart as planned.

However, airport delays are usually due, for the most part, to factors beyond their control, such as the punctuality of the airline. This year, among Spanish airlines, Vueling has improved the number of interruptions of its flights by 6.2% compared to last year. The airlines that have suffered the most flight incidents in Spain so far have been Lufthansa with 29.2% interruptions, followed by easyJet with 26.6% and Eurowings with 23.2%.

Although it is good news for travelers who have fewer incidents on flights during the first 7 months of 2019, AirHelp continues to detect that this is the second highest level ever recorded of flight interruptions and there are serious reasons not to be too optimistic about the results, as explained by the global communication director of AirHelp, Paloma Salmerón.

«We all remember the countless flights canceled last year, especially due to the strike of the personnel of airlines such as Air France or Ryanair. The travel plans of thousands of passengers were affected and had to remain waiting in several Spanish airports. While our study of data shows that there are fewer flight interruptions during the first months of this year, at AirHelp we do not believe this is a cause for celebration. ”

“The record of flight alterations was reached in 2018 due to strikes that occurred in the first half of the year. This year, we see how the situation could be repeated, especially during the month of September, which is the period of greatest transit for families returning from their vacations. Ryanair unions are calling for strikes in several European countries, but there are new strike threats from other airlines such as Iberia or Transavia. Therefore, we urge all travelers to properly inform themselves about their rights to know what their options are in case their flights are affected. We want to remember that, from AirHelp we can help you get the compensation that corresponds to you, and even defend your case in court if necessary, «says Salmerón.

Flight interruptions: these are passenger rights

In the case of delayed or canceled flights and denied boarding, passengers may be entitled to financial compensation of up to 600 euros per person in certain circumstances. The conditions for this stipulate that the departure airport must be within the EU, or that the airline must be based in the EU and land in the EU. In addition, the reason for the flight delay must be caused by the airline. The compensation may be claimed within three years from the interruption of the flight.

In situations considered ‘extraordinary circumstances’ such as storms or medical emergencies, the operating airline is exempt from the obligation to compensate passengers. That is, the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ are not grounds for compensation.