Worst airline for flight delays revealed

Wizz Air was the worst airline for delays to flights departing from UK airports last year, an investigation found (Nick Whittle/Alamy/PA).

Wizz Air was the worst airline for delays to flights departing from UK airports last year, an investigation found (Nick Whittle/Alamy/PA).

Wizz Air was the worst airline for flight delays from UK airports last year, an investigation found.

The Hungarian airline’s UK departures were an average of 14 minutes and 24 seconds behind schedule in 2021, according to an analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data by the PA news agency.

It operates short-haul flights from 10 UK airports including Belfast International, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Gatwick and Luton.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

Tui Airways recorded the second worst punctuality with an average delay of 13 minutes and 18 seconds.

It was followed by British Airways (12 minutes and 42 seconds) – including its subsidiary BA CityFlyer – Virgin Atlantic (12 minutes) and Loganair (11 minutes and 30 seconds).

The two airlines most used by UK passengers, easyJet and Ryanair, were among the top performers in terms of punctuality.

EasyJet had the second-shortest average delay per flight at four minutes and 36 seconds, while Ryanair was third at six minutes and six seconds.

Only Ireland’s flagship Aer Lingus fared better, with a typical delay of just three minutes and 12 seconds.

The analysis considered all scheduled and chartered departures from UK airports by airlines with more than 2,500 flights. Canceled flights were not taken into account.

Holidaymakers have faced a spate of disruption in recent months and these latest figures only underscore the need for urgent reform of the travel industry

Guy Hobbs, which one? Travel

The average delay was eight and a half minutes per flight.

An analysis by PA carried out earlier this summer found that Birmingham was the airport with the worst flight delays in the UK last year.

Punctuality across the aviation industry was better in 2021 than before the coronavirus pandemic due to the reduction in flights caused by travel restrictions.

But the situation has worsened this year as staff shortages have plagued several airports and airlines, leading to tens of thousands of flights being cancelled.

Guy Hobbs, editor of consumer magazine Which? Travel, said: “While these results are worrying, the reality for many travelers this summer was actually far worse.

Airlines, airports and air traffic control teams need to work much more closely together to make flying smoother and more enjoyable for all of us

Paul Charles, The PC Agency

“Holidaymakers have faced a spate of disruption in recent months and these latest figures only underscore the need for urgent reform of the travel industry.

“The government must drop plans to cut passenger compensation for delayed and canceled domestic flights.”

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “Increasing flight delays over the last year have caused many consumers enormous stress and financial pain while awaiting refunds and compensation.

“Airlines, airports and air traffic control teams need to work much more closely together to make flying smoother and more enjoyable for all of us.

“That will only happen if the staff shortage is properly overcome and the airline industry is allowed to grow again after the pandemic.”

Wizz Air has been contacted for comment.

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