Punctuality of flights down at UK airports

18th Oct 2007

The punctuality of both scheduled and charter airlines fell in the second quarter of 2007 compared with the same period in 2006According to figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the average delay was higher for both types of carrier.

Scheduled Flights

During April to June 2007, the overall on-time performance (defined as early to 15 minutes late) of scheduled airlines at the ten UK airports monitored fell by four percentage points, from 72 to 68 per cent. The proportion of scheduled flights operating on time increased by two percentage points at Stansted and Luton to 73 and 67 per cent respectively. The proportion of scheduled flights operating on time fell at all other monitored airports, with London City experiencing the largest fall, down seven percentage points from 72 to 65 per cent.

The average delay in the second quarter across all the scheduled flights monitored rose from 15 minutes in the second quarter of 2006 to 17 minutes in 2007. Average delay increased at all monitored airports in the second quarter of 2007 compared with the same period in 2006 with the exceptions of Luton, where average delay fell by one minute to 17 minutes and Stansted, where the average delay remained the same.

Charter Flights


The proportion of on-time charter flights fell by two percentage points in the second quarter of 2007 to 67 per cent, compared with 69 per cent in the same period in 2006. On-time charter performance increased by three percentage points at both Gatwick and Luton to 68 and 70 per cent respectively, while on-time performance was maintained at Birmingham. At all other monitored airports performance fell, with Manchester experiencing the biggest on-time performance fall of nine percentage points.

The average delay in the second quarter across all the charter flights monitored rose slightly from 24 minutes in the second quarter of 2006 to 25 minutes in the second quarter of 2007. At Gatwick the average delay fell by four minutes, while at Glasgow, the average delay fell by two minutes. At all other airports, average delay increased.

The statistics are presented to show the scheduled and charter modes separately since the characteristics of these modes are different. For example, scheduled and charter flights tend to operate to different destinations at different times of the day and week. Because of this, and the exclusion of cancellations from the data, simplistic comparisons between the two modes should be avoided.

Destinations with most passengers

Among the 75 scheduled and charter destinations with the most passengers, the scheduled routes to New York (JFK), Dubai, New York (Newark), Los Angeles, Rome (Fiumicino) and Istanbul had on-time performances of less than 55 per cent. Scheduled services to New York (JFK and Newark), Toronto and Budapest, as well as the charter route to Dalaman, all had average delays of 25 minutes or more.

Dalaman, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife (Sur Reina) were the three charter destinations among the top 75. Of these three destinations, Tenerife (Sur Reina) had the highest
on-time performance of 72 per cent and the lowest average delay of 19 minutes.

New York (JFK) had both the lowest on time performance and the longest average delay amongst the top 75 scheduled and charter destinations, with an on-time performance of 46 per cent and an average delay of 36 minutes, whilst Leeds Bradford had both the highest on-time performance (89 per cent) and shortest average delay (5 minutes) amongst the top 75 destinations.


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