A total of 81 per cent of scheduled flights at 10 major UK airports were on time in spring this year (April-June), the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.

This was 11 per cent better than in spring 2008 and the best April-June figure since 1995.

Compared with spring 2008, the spring 2009 figures at the 10 airports showed that plane take offs and landings reduced 9% while passenger numbers fell 6 per cent.

Heathrow's scheduled flights punctuality increased from 66 per cent in spring 2008 to 80 per cent in spring 2009 while the west London airport's average delay was reduced from 19 minutes to 10 minutes.

The other airports in the CAA report, which relates to departures and arrivals, were Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, London City, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Overall, the average delay for scheduled services at the 10 airports fell from 16 minutes in spring 2008 to 10 minutes in spring 2009.

The proportion of charter flights on time at the airports improved from 58 per cent in spring 2008 to 74 per cent in spring 2009, while the average delay fell from 32 minutes in spring last year to 19 minutes in spring this year.

Manchester charter flight average delays fell from 37 minutes in spring 2008 to 22 minutes in spring this year, while the Gatwick figure fell from 31 minutes to 20 minutes.

Of the main destinations, flights to and from Dalaman had the highest average delay (21 minutes) in spring 2009, while flights to and from Pisa in Italy had the worst on-time record (62 per cent).