“In Portugal, the first four months of the year were marked by the first strike by easyJet cabin crew and by several calls for strikes at TAP, which ended up being called off. In Europe, the strikes in Germany, France, Great Britain and Spain also jeopardised the punctuality of connections with Portugal”, said AirHelp in a statement and reported by Publituris.

According to the report prepared by the company defending the rights of air passengers, in Portugal, more than a third of passengers suffered flight disruptions, which results in more than two million passengers affected, about 35% of the total.

"Comparing this year's data with the same period, there was a doubling of the number of flights with disruptions, with just over one million passengers seeing their flight delayed or cancelled in 2022", adds AirHelp, revealing that March was the month with the highest number of incidents in Portugal, corresponding to 800,000 passengers.

By region, it was in Lisbon that passengers experienced the most problems, with more than one and a half million passengers experiencing some disruption to their flight, which corresponds to 41% of passengers, followed by Horta airport, in the Azores, where disruptions affected 35% of total passengers, while Madeira ranks third with almost 29% of passengers affected.

Most punctual

Ponta Delgada airport, in São Miguel, Azores, was the most punctual Portuguese airport in the first four months of the year, with almost 75% of flights departing at the indicated time and around 73% of passengers not being affected by any disturbance.

The good results were also common to Porto airport, which AirHelp considers to be the best national airport and where 73% of flights departed at the indicated time, while 73% of passengers did not suffer any disruption to their flight.

European disruptions

In the rest of Europe, the United Kingdom stands out negatively, which ranks first among the countries with the most air passengers affected, with a total of six million passengers or 28% of the total, followed by Turkey, with around 5 .5 million passengers affected (32%), and Germany, which is in third place and slightly behind, with around 4.7 million passengers (30%) taking off late or seeing their flight cancelled.

In Spain, about five of the 25 million registered passengers also suffered some type of flight disruption.

At the other extreme are Kosovo, Cyprus and Greece, which recorded the lowest number of delays for air travellers in the first four months of 2023, with Kosovo asserting itself as the country with the least problems, as only 16% of all air passengers departed late, followed by Cyprus, with 17%, and Greece, which closes the podium, with 18%.

According to AirHelp, in the first four months of the year, more than 40 million passengers suffered delays in their flights across Europe, which corresponds to 26% of all registered passengers.

“This is a significant deterioration compared to the same period last year, when around 20 million passengers were delayed (18%). In addition, the number of flight problems caused by airlines has been increasing: while in the first four months of 2022 only around 1.8 million passengers were entitled to compensation, this number has already increased to 3.5 million in the same period of 2023. This means that the number of problems caused by airlines increased by 88% compared to 2022”, adds AirHelp.

Pedro Miguel Madaleno, a lawyer specializing in passenger rights and representative of AirHelp in Portugal, recalls that, “although only about one million more passengers flew in the 2023 study period than in 2022, the number of delays was significantly higher ”.

“Strikes, protests and technical problems have had a very negative impact on air traffic this year. The current environment of some labour conflict, in particular, had a strong impact on the numerous delays. We hope that the situation does not get worse in the period leading up to the summer”, concluded the official.