LONDON: Passengers departing from London Luton Airport face the longest flight delays in the country, according to a new ranking of UK airports by punctuality.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data compiled by the Press Association shows that Luton’s average take-off delay in 2017 was 19.7 minutes. Gatwick was next worse, with an average 18.9-minute delay, followed by Jersey Airport, at 18.7 minutes.
Despite being the UK’s busiest airport, London Heathrow was the best performer for punctuality, with an average delay of just 11 minutes. Leeds Bradford and Belfast City airports were joint second, at 11.3 minutes.
The average delay across all 25 airports featured in the list was 15 minutes. This does not include cancelled flights.
A CAA spokesperson said the data will enable passengers to “make informed choices about which airports they fly from”, and that the industry “should constantly strive to improve punctuality to enhance the passenger experience”.
A spokesperson for London Luton said the airport “regrets any delay our passengers experience”, adding that punctuality was influenced by “many factors” outside its control including air traffic control strikes, late-arriving aircraft, bad weather and congested airspace.
London Gatwick Airport said it is doing “everything within its power” to improve its punctuality.
A spokesperson for the Airport Operators Association (AOA) said “outdated” airspace infrastructure limited the efficiency of flights, adding: “The UK needs to modernise its airspace. Airports are working with air traffic service providers and the Government to plan and deliver the necessary changes so everyone can continue to fly with a minimum of delays.”
The ten worst UK airports for punctuality are:
- Luton: 19.7 minutes
- Gatwick: 18.9 minutes
- Jersey*: 18.7 minutes
- Durham Tees Valley: 18.6 minutes
- Birmingham: 18.2 minutes
- Bristol: 17.6 minutes
- Belfast International: 16.7 minutes
- Manchester: 16.7 minutes
- Stansted: 16.7 minutes
- Aberdeen: 16.1 minutes
(*Although Jersey is not part of the UK, it does come under CAA jurisdiction)