THE number of delayed flights has doubled across Europe.

The shocking 97% increase in delays between April and June has been put down to ‘chaotic’ tighter controls kicking in, claim airline chiefs.

FLIGHT FRIGHT: Surge in flight delays over summer

Some passengers endured waits of up to four hours, with Palma Airport one of those affected by enhanced checks on those leaving or entering the EU’s Schengen zone.

British Airways, Ryanair and Easyjet are demanding EU states hire more border staff to address the problem, which has caused one in 20 passengers to miss connecting flights.

The extra checks and waiting time had made the current situation ‘unsustainable’, they added.

The enhanced checks affect those entering and leaving the EU’s Schengen zone, which is a border-free travel zone made up of 26 countries, and include increased passport scrutiny.

Under new regulations the EU put into effect in April, passengers must have the details of their passports checked against a European database, to ensure that they do not pose a threat.

The airlines are demanding more border staff and automatic gates to combat the problem.

The European Commission has stood by the new regulations, saying these inconveniences are ‘the price of security.’

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