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DELAYED FLIGHTS: Worst performing airlines at UK airports revealed

DELAYED: Worst performing airlines at UK airports revealed DELAYED: Worst performing airlines at UK airports revealed Shutterstock

THE airlines with the worst punctuality records flying from airports in the UK has been revealed.

Among the international airlines Wizz Air departures were an average of 23 minutes late in 2017, while Thomas Cook Airlines was the worst of the UK carriers.

The delays were revealed by analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data by the Press Association news agency.

A spokesperson for Wizz Air said, “It is... worth noting that a number of issues specific to the UK, including airport infrastructure, airspace congestion and slot restrictions, contribute to a significantly worse time performance on our UK routes compared to the rest of our network,” the spokesperson said.

“In addition, we suffered from particularly severe winter weather in central and eastern Europe in 2017 which also contributed to the overall on time performance.

The Hungarian airline has built a name for itself by serving a number of Eastern European destinations with cheap fares from its base at Luton.

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

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

The Civil Aviation Authority data covered 44 airlines that operated at least 2,000 scheduled services from British airports in 2017, taking into account every flight excluding cancelled services. The average delay across all flights was 15 minutes.

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.

EU legislation governs the compensation due should passengers arrive more than three hours late at their destinations - from €250 on short flights to as much as €600 for long-haul flights as 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 make claims.

Karl Smallman

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