Airport delays show slight increase


Holiday flight passengers had to contend with a slight increase in delays at major UK airports at the start of the year.

A total of 71% of charter flights were on time in the period January-March 2012, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

This was 1% down on the figure for the same period last year.

The average delay in the first three months of this year was 22 minutes - the same as in the January-March 2011 period.

Scheduled flight punctuality at the 10 UK airports monitored reached 82% in the first three months of this year - the same level as in January-March last year and the highest UK level achieved in the 21st century.

The average delay to scheduled flights was 10 minutes - the same as in the first three months of last year.

The figures relate to flights in and out of Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, London City, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.

Manchester and Heathrow had the worst on-time scheduled-flight performance (79%), while Glasgow, Newcastle, London City, Birmingham and Edinburgh airports all reached 85%.

Punctuality of 307,000 scheduled and 11,000 charter passenger flights was measured, which represented a 2% decrease in scheduled flights and a 6.4% decrease in charter flights compared with the first three months of 2011.

CAA regulatory policy director Iain Osborne said: "It is excellent to see that airlines have managed to maintain their record performance this year, but given the decline in flight numbers, we might have hoped to see punctuality improving even further."