Holidaymakers have been warned of a “challenging” summer of flight disruptions owing to “overloaded” air traffic control.
Eurocontrol, which manages European airspace, said it would experience overloads on most days in key regions including Athens, Budapest, Reims and Marseille, the Times reported.
Similar warnings were issued for peak days – especially Fridays and weekends – in London, Brussels, Barcelona, Zagreb, Nicosia and Warsaw.
These conditions can lead to delays and aircraft being diverted via longer routes to avoid congested areas.
The warning comes after Raúl Medina, Director General of Eurocontrol, told the Airports Council International General Assembly in Barcelona last week that the industry was better prepared than last year, which saw significant delays and disruption.
He said that while aviation is “ready to cope” with the summer’s increase in traffic, the next few months will be “challenging”.
“This summer in Europe is challenging as we have less available airspace because of the war in Ukraine and the military needs. To be successful over the summer, we need everyone to play their part,” he said.
He added: “Recent industrial action caused many delays across the network. We can manage situations like that in quieter periods, but if it happens in the middle of summer, it will be much more challenging. We need to be prepared.”
Eurocontrol forecasts that around 33,000 flights will be made per day from July to mid-August, an increase of more than 7% compared with the same period last year.
On Fridays the figure is expected to be even higher. However, predictions still fall short of pre-pandemic levels.