Almost half of flights in Barcelona airport delayed this summer

Passengers waited average of 55 minutes when traveling to or from Catalan capital by plane


Passengers at the Barcelona airport (by ACN)
Passengers at the Barcelona airport (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 5, 2018 12:21 PM

The problems experienced at airports is a main topic of discussion for some Catalans going back to work after their summer holidays. And recent figures explain why.

According to the Flightstats website, almost half of flights (45.8%) taking off or landing at Barcelona's main airport, El Prat, were delayed by more than 15 minutes over June, July and August.

The figures are worse than those for summer 2017, when delays affected 37% of flights in July and 34% in August.

Barcelona handled an average of around 15,000 flights in each of the three summer months.

The average time that passengers had to wait for their planes was 55 minutes during this period.


The delays and flight cancellations were mainly caused by airlines Ryanair and Vueling.

On July 25 and 26, the Ryanair cabin crew went on strike to protest against their working conditions. This led to the cancellation of 130 flights at Barcelona airport, affecting thousands of passengers.

Vueling also caused unprecedented chaos at the capital's airport with numerous delays and cancellations. On July 16, 5,000 travellers at the airport were affected by the company's flight cancellations. Due to a storm, Vueling said, it had to cancel 29 flights from Barcelona airport.

Air traffic controllers in France also went on strike, causing major disruption to flights. Industrial action in Marseille led to flight cancellations, causing holiday misery for thousands of travellers.

Top 50

In a list including the world's 50 main airports in terms of punctuality, Barcelona El Prat came in 48th position in June and July, and 47th in August. Top of the ranking was Brazil's Sao Paulo (48% of delayed flights), while Jakarta in Indonesia (13%) came bottom of the list.