Irish carrier Ryanair has blamed issues with Europe’s air traffic control for delaying a fifth of its flights during September.

The airline said 92 per cent of its flights arrived on time last month, up from 89 per cent in the previous year.

However, it claimed air traffic control shortages and disruptions “continue to have a large impact on punctuality”, saying a fifth of its services – 15,455 flights – were delayed as a result. It named the UK, Germany, France and Spain as “the worst ATC providers in September”.

A recent study of flight data showed 11.5 million UK passengers were impacted by delays this summer. Meanwhile, research by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) found delays caused by air traffic control issues such as staff shortages and strikes more than doubled in the year to summer 2018, with the average delay per flight in July that year hitting 20 minutes.

Ryanair has criticised Europe’s air traffic control system several times in the past and joined forces with International Airlines Group (IAG) in 2018 to lodge a formal complaint with the European Commission over strikes that caused a great deal of disruption to flights that summer.

In addition to its on-time performance, Ryanair reported an average of 67g of CO2 per passenger per kilometre for September, which it claimed makes it “Europe’s greenest/cleanest major airline with the youngest fleet and highest load factors”.

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