RYANAIR has blamed Spain’s airport infrastructure body AENA and the ministry of public works for ‘delays and cancellations’ in the last year after a socialist MP asked it – among other carriers – to ‘justify’ them.
The Irish low-cost flight firm reminded Spain that 90% of its planes arrive on time, and that any delays were because ‘as the largest airline in Spain and Europe’, it had been affected by air-traffic controller strikes and ‘other incidents’ on the continent.
Socialist MP Miguel Ángel Heredia had asked in Parliament for explanations about cancellations and delays which have affected several airlines this year, including Catalunya-based low-cost Vueling and, more recently, Ryanair, partly due to annual leave scheduling problems with pilots.
The ministry of public works passed the question on to the airlines named, referring specifically to Barcelona airport.
“Our delays at El Prat airport have been caused by an inefficient air-traffic control system, poor management in immigration and passport control, and lack of police resources,” Ryanair responded, the latter point referring to the security worker strike in summer.
“We urge the ministry of public works and AENA to improve these services to benefit all airlines and their customers and to ensure none of this recurs in 2018.”
Data released by the ministry claims Ryanair and Vueling experienced the most delays in the first nine months of the year, with 42,637 and 38,230 flights respectively arriving at least 15 minutes late to their destination.
In total, airlines across Spain have experienced 307,364 delays of 15 minutes or more, based upon figures up to and including September.
Anecdotal evidence from Ryanair customers, however, shows that they do not generally suffer delays and sometimes even arrive early, except during the autumn when cancellations announced in advance caused some travel disruption.