Peak performance

In Germany, the peak holiday season has started and the sky is busy. DFS staff make sure that all passengers reach their destinations safely and as punctually as possible, even on peak days.

05.07.2019.- The peak holiday season has started with the beginning of the German summer holidays. Not only German airspace is busy, all of European airspace is crowded at the moment. On 28 June, more than 37,000 flights were controlled in Europe on a single day, which is more than ever before. Almost a third of all European flights pass through German airspace, one of the busiest regions of Europe due to its central location.

In the first six months of this year, DFS registered 1.61 million flights under instrument flight rules in German airspace, approximately 21,000 flights more than in the same period last year. In June 2019, 304,374 flights were counted. DFS has implemented a number of measures in advance to ensure that all of these flights reach their targets without delay, where possible. These measures have proved to be successful. The delay caused by air traffic control in German airspace amounted to 106 seconds per flight, which is 15 seconds less than in the same month of the previous year. 

Together with the control centres of Germany’s neighbouring countries, flights on some routes have been transferred to other flight levels since April to free up congested upper airspace. In addition, many operational staff members have been working voluntary additional shifts besides their regular working time. The training of new air traffic controllers is in full swing, despite the summer holidays. Of the 122 young people who are planned to start their training by the end of 2019, 54 are already attending classes at the DFS Academy. This trend will be continued in 2020 and the number of trainees will rise to 146.

These are just some of the measures DFS has implemented to contribute towards punctuality in air traffic in the peak holiday season. Delays caused by air traffic control, however, are only a small part of the total delay. According to the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation Eurocontrol, the average delay per flight from January to May 2019 was 11.3 minutes, almost half of which was caused by the airlines. In the first five months of 2019, the share of this delay caused by European air navigation services organisations was less than one minute.

The peak day

DFS air traffic controllers are dependable. They demonstrate this every day but even more so on the busiest day ever. On 7 September 2018, 11,024 flights were counted in German airspace. This means that DFS controllers continue to ensure that passengers reach their destinations on time and, above all, safely: Glow Track

Media contact:

Ute Otterbein
Telephone: +49 (0)6103 / 707-4162

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,400 employees as at 31 December 2018. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,000 air traffic controllers guide up to 10,000 flights in German airspace every day, more than three million movements every year. This makes Germany the country with the highest traffic volume in Europe. The company operates control centres in Langen, Bremen, Karlsruhe and Munich as well as control towers at the 16 designated international airports in Germany. The subsidiary DFS Aviation Services GmbH markets and sells products and services related to air navigation services, and provides air traffic control at nine regional airports in Germany and at London Gatwick Airport and Edinburgh Airport in the UK.