The 10 worst airports in Europe with record flight delays and cancellations

Heathrow airport

Long queues, intense inconvenience, successive delays and constant cancellations - this is the daily routine at most airports in northern and western Europe, which are experiencing their own crisis due to staff shortages and a sharp recovery in travel traffic.

Already, one airport after another is cutting the number of flights and passengers per day in an effort to better and more efficiently manage travel flows, which have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

In this context, Hopper Inc, an online travel agency backed by Goldman Sachs, compiled a list of the worst airports in the Old Continent in terms of flight delays and cancellations.

  • Brussels Airport (BRU)
    Brussels, Belgium: 72% of flights delayed and 2.5% canceled
  • Frankfurt International Airport (FRA)
    Frankfurt, Germany: 68% of flights delayed and 7.8% canceled
  • Eindhoven Airport (EIN)
    Eindhoven, Netherlands: 67% of flights delayed and 1.8% canceled
  • Luton Airport (LTN)
    London, UK: 66% of flights delayed and 2.7% canceled
  • Liszt Ferenc International Airport (BUD)
    Budapest, Hungary: 65% of flights delayed and 2.1% canceled
  • Lisbon Airport (LIS)
    Lisbon, Portugal: 65% of flights delayed and 4.8% canceled
  • Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG)
    Paris, France: 62% of flights delayed and 3.1% canceled
  • Schiphol Airport (AMS)
    Amsterdam, Netherlands: 61% of flights delayed and 5.2% canceled
  • Cote D'Azur Airport (NCE)
    Nice, France: 60% of flights delayed and 3.4% canceled
  • Gatwick Airport (LGW)
    London, United Kingdom: 59% of flights delayed and 1.4% canceled

It is worth noting that the above figures refer to percentages, i.e. what percentage of flights are delayed or cancelled. In absolute terms, the most (in number) delays are recorded at London Heathrow (51%).

On the other hand, of course, there are the airports, which still keep to the schedule, avoiding delays and long queues. These are mainly smaller or regional airports in Europe

  • Bergamo/Orio al Serio Airport (BGY)
    Bergamo, Italy: 3% of flights delayed and 1% canceled
  • Gran Canaria Airport (LPA)
    Gran Canaria, Spain: 8% of flights delayed and 0.3% canceled
  • Otopeni International Airport (OTP)
    Bucharest, Romania: 10% of flights delayed and 1.7% canceled
  • Dublin International Airport (DUB)
    Dublin, Ireland: 15% of flights delayed and 1.6% canceled
  • Fontanarossa Airport (CTA)
    Catania, Italy: 16% of flights delayed and 1.1% canceled
  • Adolfo Suarez-Barajas Airport (MAD)
    Madrid, Spain: 19% of flights delayed and 0.4% canceled
  • Alicante Airport (ALC)
    Alicante, Spain: 20% of flights delayed and 3.4% canceled
  • Marseille Airport (MRS)
    Marseille, France: 20% of flights delayed and 2% canceled
  • Orly Field (ORY)
    Paris, France: 21% of flights delayed and 1.2% canceled
  • Malaga Airport (AGP)
    Malaga, Spain: 24% of flights delayed and 3.3% canceled

It should be noted that the main problem in European airports is massive staff shortages. 

What exactly happened?

During the pandemic, the administration made numerous layoffs due to restrictions on air travel.

Today, however, when demand has been restored and the sector has returned to normalcy, there is a clear difficulty in re-employing workers, as many of them have turned to other sectors which offer permanence and greater job security. 

READ MORE: Greek airports fair better than their peers.