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Revealed: Most delayed Airline at UK airports

Written by on August 6, 2018

Article Written & Published By: Sky News

The airline with the worst punctuality record at UK airports experienced average delays of 23 minutes last year.

Wizz Air has been revealed as the airline with the worst punctuality record among those operating the most flights from UK airports.

Departures run by the Hungarian carrier were an average of 23 minutes late in 2017 – enough time to watch half an episode of Game of Thrones while waiting at the gate.

The airline blamed “a number of issues specific to the UK” for its record, including airport infrastructure, airspace congestion and timetable restrictions.

 

Sofia, BULGARIA: TO GO WITH AFP STORY BULGARIA-TRANSPORT-AIR Wizz Air craft gets ready for one of its first very early take offs from Bulgarian capital Sofia, 22 September 2005. Bulgaria opened its air transport market last week to the first Central European low-cost carrier amid cries of concern from both local airlines and coach companies, who said low ticket fares would strike a hard blow on their business. AFP PHOTO Valentina PETROVA (Photo credit should read VALENTINA PETROVA/AFP/Getty Imag
Image: Wizz Air said extreme weather contributed to its poor record

 

It said its ability to keep to time was significantly better on the rest of its network, and also cited “particularly severe winter weather” as a reason for why so many of its UK flights had taken off late.

The delays were exposed by analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data by the Press Association, which showed there were two UK airlines among the 10 with the poorest punctuality records.

Thomas Cook Airlines and BMI Regional both experienced average delays of 21 minutes.

 

Thomas Cook was among the worst performing UK airlines
Image: Thomas Cook was among the worst performing UK airlines

 

:: UK airlines’ punctuality records (Civil Aviation Authority, 2017)

  • Thomas Cook Airlines – 21.1 minutes
  • BMI Regional – 21 minutes
  • EasyJet – 18.2 minutes
  • Monarch Airlines (ceased trading in October) – 16.4 minutes
  • Loganair – 16.2 minutes
  • Ryanair – 15.6 minutes
  • Flybe – 14.1 minutes
  • Virgin Atlantic – 13.3 minutes
  • British Airways – 11.5 minutes
  • BA CityFlyer – 11.4 minutes

 

British Airways said his behaviour was "completely unacceptable". File pic
Image: British Airways experienced shorter average delays than its rivals

 

But most of the worst offenders were companies based abroad, with Norwegian Air Shuttle coming in second with flights departing 22 minutes late on average.

But that does not take into account most of its long-haul UK flights, which are operated by a British subsidiary.

Most of its UK flights are short-haul services from Gatwick, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Frequent air traffic control strikes and adverse weather were what the airline put its problems down to.

“We do everything possible to ensure that flights operate to allow passengers to reach their destination as soon as possible,” said a spokesman.

“Norwegian is committed to keep improving punctuality, and where factors are within our direct control we have introduced new measures to continue delivering a smooth, efficient experience for our passengers.”

Norwegian said strike action had impacted its record
Image: Norwegian said strike action had impacted its record

 

:: International airlines’ punctuality records (Civil Aviation Authority, 2017)

  • Wizz Air – 22.9 minutes
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle 21.7 minutes
  • Vueling Airlines – 21.1 minutes
  • Aurigny Air Services – 20.1 minutes
  • Norwegian Air International – 19.3 minutes
  • Eurowings – 19.2 minutes
  • Turkish Airlines – 19.2 minutes
  • Air Portugal – 19.1 minutes
  • Eastern Airways – 18.6 minutes
  • Blue Air Transport Aerian – 17.2 minutes

 

The UK has some of the busiest airports in the world
Image: The UK has some of the busiest airports in the world

 

The CAA said punctuality was an important factor for passengers when choosing an airline to travel with, and they are entitled to free access to phone calls, emails, meals and refreshments if delayed by more than two hours.

Delays of more than three hours mean passengers can claim hundreds of pounds in compensation – so long as the problems were not caused by “extraordinary circumstances” such as severe weather or a security alert.

Consumer advice magazine Which? has urged airlines to introduce automatic compensation so that their customers do not need to “jump through hoops” to claim back the money they are owed.

Airline association BAR UK has insisted that airlines were “fully engaged” with governments in a bid to minimise disruption outside of their control and improve the experience for passengers.

Chief executive Dale Keller stressed that delays were “extremely costly” to the carriers as well.

 


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