Why are flights delayed?
If you are going somewhere from (or to) Tunisia, try to not be a customer of Tunisair. For people who don’t know Tunisair, it’s is the flag carrier airline of Tunisia who have most of the time delayed flights. However, we should ask “why are flights delayed?”
Weather is the cause of 69% of all air travel delays, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It’s true that planes are equipped and engineered to take off, land, and fly through all sorts of bad weather, but there are a few weather scenarios that are more likely to ground flights than others.The biggest problems are always related to high wind and freezing rain. In fact, this weather will universally cause delays and cancellations. I know you are probably thinking that everything will be fine in summer. However, that’s not the case. It’s actually harder for planes to fly in hot air because the air itself becomes much less dense which make takeoff more difficult.
Some cancellations or delays are sometimes related to circumstances within the airline’s control, including maintenance or crew problems, aircraft cleaning, baggage loading and fueling. I know that seems weird but the philosophy is “if a system can fail, it will fail”. So before taking off all technical defects must be rectified.
Passengers themselves often delay flights too. Actually, passengers who have checked in with bags and failed to show up, either because they were hanging out in the duty free shopping or got lost in the complex terminal, the flight cannot depart unless their check-in bags are off-loaded as a precaution. The rationale is that, there are some terrorists who may plant explosives that may not be detected by X-rays in their bags and deliberately missed the flight like the Lockerbie incident in 1988 (Pan Am Flight 103).
I know that it’s hard to imagine the concept of “traffic” when you are looking up at the sky, but it can be like highways rush hour. The main issues tend to be with takeoff and landing. In fact, crowded busy airport may have many planes lined up waiting for their chance to take off, and potentially many planes circling the airport waiting for their chance to land. This is how (if you are lucky of course) you can sometimes wind up with a double delay (a late takeoff, and a late landing).