A departure info board at an airport

Portuguese airports are among the worst performers on an international scale, according to data collected by AirHelp. TAP has one of the lowest punctuality rates, with two out of every five flights departing late in 2023.

More than 11 million passengers departed from Portuguese airports with delays in 2023. That’s more than a third (36%) of passengers, out of a total of more than 80,000 flights that took off later than planned.

The figures come from AirHelp, an organization that defends the rights of air passengers, and show that Portugal is among the European countries with the highest rate of delayed flights. Moreover, there are increases compared to 2022, since that year there were 63,000 delayed flights carrying 9 million people, which corresponds to 34% of all passengers departing from national airports that year.

TAP has contributed greatly to the upward trend in delays, since of the 70,000 flights it operated, only 59% took off on time, which means a rate of 41% of flights were late for their scheduled departure time. Only easyJet did worse, with a punctuality rate of no more than 56%.

The best figures were recorded by Eurowings, whose punctuality stood at 93%, which represents a wide margin over its closest competitors. Proof of this is that JET2 was in second place at 81%, followed by Iberia at 79%. Ryanair and KML followed, both with 72% of their flights taking off on time.

Lisbon stands out in the negative when it comes to punctuality

Looking at the national data by airport, one thing stands out: Lisbon airport’s low punctuality rate compared to the rest of the country’s airports. Of the more than 100,000 flights operated, which carried more than 16 million passengers, only 55% were delayed.

Better figures were recorded at Lajes (over 6,000 flights and 500,000 passengers) and Faro (27,000 flights and over four million passengers), both airports with a punctuality rate of 72%. The leader is Porto airport (46,000 flights and over seven million passengers), where 73% of the planes departed on time.

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