Incheon airport suffers poor on-time departures.
Incheon International Airport has been rated the best service airport for years, but it is struggling to get airplanes to depart on time, according to a global flight information service provider, Monday.
In addition to poor weather conditions, particularly in winter, the airport attributes a surge in the number of flights passing through Chinese airspace to its delayed departure record. From December to February, particularly, only half of the airport's flights took off on time.
According to the U.S. aviation statistics website Flightstats, Incheon International Airport ranked last among 44 airports for punctual departure performance as of January.
The website calculated the departure rate aggregating flights taking off more than 15 minutes later than planned.
The average departures from Incheon airport in January were on time in 50 percent of cases. Such a performance is 38.5 percentage points behind that of the Port of Seattle in the United States, which ranks No.1 with 88.5 percent punctual departures. Such a record is 28.2 percentage points higher than the average rate of on-time departures of all 44 airports combined.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport said a recent increase in air traffic flying over Beijing, China, has influence the departure times from the airport.
"Sometimes, the flight path is blocked for several hours due to military exercises conducted by the Chinese air force or we have deteriorating weather conditions and we have to delay the flight for safety reasons," the ministry official said.
The on-time performance results of Incheon International Airport ranked lowest last year and it was particularly poor when it suffered bad weather conditions. The airport's on-time departure rate last January recorded 48.9 percent, ranking 49th of 49. It recorded 55.1 percent punctual departures in February to rank 47th of 48, and 53.1 percent in December when it was 43rd of 43.
In spring and autumn, when the weather is comparatively favorable, its on-time departure rate improves to 70 percent, ranking between 20th and 30th.
The average of on-time takeoffs from Incheon in March to June recorded between 70.5 percent and 76.3 percent, while it recorded 72.2 percent to 76.6 percent between October and November.
The average flight time delay from Incheon was 43.9 minutes in January. Last December the time was close to one hour, recording 56.7 minutes, and from last January to November recorded between 33 minutes to 46.5 minutes.
"We have about 80 airlines operating at our airport and they each have individual problems departing on time. Incheon airport's weak performance on punctual departures is not a rare issue of ours but directly involves individual airlines. We will cooperate with them to improve our performance on punctual departures," said an official at the Incheon International Airport Corp.