Easter tourism: Eurowings draws a positive balance

  • More than 1.3 million passengers on 11,000 flights

  • Comprehensive package of measures for greater punctuality pays off

  • Eurowings COO Michael Knitter: "We kept our word and flew our passengers to their holiday destinations punctually and reliably"

After the Easter holidays, Eurowings draws a positive balance: in the past two weeks, the airline has flown 1.3 million holiday passengers to over 120 different destinations on around 11,000 flights, with a punctuality of 87 percent. Many travellers wanted to get some sun in the spring and, as a result, there was strong demand for connections to Mallorca and the Canary Islands. On long-haul routes, New York, Miami and Cuba were among the top destinations.

"We kept our word and flew our passengers to their holiday destinations punctually and reliably. Our measures are taking effect – this was demonstrated by Easter travel," says Michael Knitter, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Eurowings. "We would have flown even more punctually if it hadn't been for air traffic control-related disruptions. On the positive side, Eurowings was even able to avoid follow-up delays for its passengers in such cases thanks to optimized processes. "We have successfully mastered the first major travel wave this year," says Knitter. Eurowings has been one of the most punctual and reliable airlines in Europe for six months now – and intends to maintain this performance. Michael Knitter: "I am convinced that – despite the capacity bottlenecks in air traffic control – we will continue to be very punctual and reliable for our customers in the summer as well.”

Eurowings was prepared for the first major wave of travel this year and had strengthened its staff at all locations and provided sufficient resources for ground handling. Eurowings had additional aircraft and crews in reserve at airports with an expected high volume of travel. This very good performance can be traced to numerous measures implemented by Eurowings since the end of last year to ensure greater punctuality and stability in flight operations. To this end, the airline had closely examined all operational processes on the ground and in the air.

Comprehensive package of measures for more punctuality

The comprehensive Eurowings package of measures for greater punctuality covers all operational processes on the ground and in the air. For example, Eurowings has significantly increased the number of reserve aircraft. Aircraft can be planned more flexibly between departure waves than before, which has a significant stabilizing effect on flight operations. In order to minimize subsequent delays, so-called 'Wellenbrecher' (breakwaters) have been introduced: bundled longer ground times for individual aircraft at noon to compensate for morning delays. The airline has also extended flight and ground times in order to add more buffer to flight schedules and better absorb delays and, as a further measure, Eurowings 'encapsulates’ domestic German flights from the rotations of European flights in order to be able to operate these independently of overcrowded airspaces in Southern Europe.

New boarding processes for a more punctual take-off

An improved boarding process, which Eurowings successfully introduced at Cologne/Bonn Airport, also contributes to greater punctuality. This innovation will be introduced in stages at all major Eurowings airports in Europe over the next few weeks. The focus will be on hand luggage – one of the main drivers of delays. If passengers travel with too much, too large or too heavy hand luggage, boarding procedures are delayed. It is not unusual for a flight to take off late because baggage has to be brought into the hold at the last minute. That's why Eurowings informs passengers on well-booked flights in advance by SMS about the possibility of handing in hand luggage free of charge at check-in. This reduces the delays caused by boarding and the aircraft takes off more punctually.