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CAA figures show no improvement in punctuality of UK flight departures

A display screen listing flights at Terminal One of Heathrow AirFigures released last week by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) show no improvement in the punctuality of flights leaving the UK’s busiest airports. Although the average delay for scheduled airline flights remained the same at 12 minutes when compared to the previous year, the data shows flights operated by charter carriers left one minute later. 

Charter flights left 18 minutes late on average in 2014. In 2013, they only left 17 minutes late. The percentage of late departures for charter carriers’ flights also increased. In 2013, 77 per cent of charter flights departed on time. Last year, on-time departures decreased to 73 per cent.

From 2013 to 2014, the percentage of scheduled flights that left on time decreased by one per cent to 79 per cent. The CAA collated information for the report from London’s Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and City airports as well as Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Luton and Newcastle.

Flights from London City Airport were the most punctual and only 12 per cent left late. UK flights heading for Istanbul had the worst punctuality record with 44 per cent of all flights delayed while those for Bangkok were delayed by an average of 27 minutes. 

Iain Osborne is the CAA policy-director and he noted the data was a little disappointing. He explained that factors such as strikes by air traffic controllers and the recent spate of bad weather were beyond the control of the airlines and airports, yet still impacted on their performance figures.

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