This research investigates the number of on-time flights (OTFs) at European airports and how this number is influenced by an airport's flight connectivity. We conduct a spatial statistical analysis of the spatial context relationship using econometric models, and the interaction between the number of airport's on-time flights (OTFs) and flight connectivity. Using 2017 and 2018 data, we characterize the relationship between a European airport's air connectivity index (ACI) and the number of flights that depart or arrive at a gate within 15 min of schedule (OTFs). We also analyze the relationship between OTFs at a given airport and those of neighboring airports. As the distances between airports increase, autocorrelation shifts from a positive to a negative sign meaning that at greater distances, airports' on-time performance is less dissimilar. We find that before the pandemic and the ensuing global travel shutdown, a spatially lagged term of ACI improves the model's ability to account for variations in OTFs across airports. Flight delay propagation in the air transport system caused delays to occur due to the shared resources underlying an initially delayed flight and subsequent flights. This analysis offers a rational for increasing airport connectivity as a way of improving the share of on-time flights of European airports.
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