More Delays At Major UK Airports

Passengers had to put up with an increase in delays to flights last year, according to official figures.

A total of 73% of charter flights were on time at major UK airports in 2014 compared with 77% in 2013, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.

Scheduled flight punctuality also dipped - from 80% in 2013 to 79% in 2014.

The CAA statistics covered flights in and out of 10 UK airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City, Luton, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh .

The average delay for chartered flights rose from 17 minutes in 2013 to 18 minutes in 2014, while the average delay to scheduled flights last year was unchanged at 12 minutes.

For scheduled flights, London City had the best punctuality record last year, with 88% of flights on time and an average delay of seven minutes.

Of the 10 airports only Newcastle (up one percentage point), Manchester (up one percentage point) and Heathrow (up two percentage points), improved their scheduled flight punctuality in 2014 compared with 2013.

On the most flown scheduled flight routes to and from the 10 UK airports, Billund in Denmark had the highest on-time performance, at 89%, while Istanbul had the lowest figure, at 56%.

Bangkok had the longest average scheduled flight delay, at 27 minutes, while Billund had the shortest, at just six minutes.

CAA regulatory policy director Iain Osborne said:  "Arriving on time matters to passengers and our work helps ensure consumers have the best data and information to make better and more informed choices.

"In the last five years punctuality has been improving and it is therefore disappointing to see a small dip in performance in the last year.''

He went on: "Notwithstanding this, the industry has had to deal with some unseasonably poor weather and a number of overseas air traffic control strikes, both beyond their control.

"With this in mind we expect the industry to continue to build on the overall positive trajectory and to do all they can to improve punctuality performance further.''