As the Network Management Board Chair, Simon Hocquard, points out in the recently published Eurocontrol Network Manager (NM) 2018 Annual Report, 2018 was a year of records for the European aviation network, with traffic up 3.8% on 2017, more than 11 million flights for the first time, and a new busiest day in 7 September, which saw 37,101 flights.
However, delays were more than double those in 2017, and three times more than the SES performance target.
NM saved over 12% of potential delays, more than meeting its 10% target. Without these actions, 2018 would have seen 1.98 minutes/flight of delay. As it happened, the final figure was 1.73 minutes/flight. A positive feature of 2018 was that, with the widespread adoption of cross-border free route airspace in Europe, there was a notable reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.