UK airport punctuality improves

UK airport punctuality improves

Punctuality at UK airports improved in the last quarter of 2008, with Heathrow and London City showing the sharpest improvements.

Heathrow recorded a 13 percentage-point increase in punctuality, according to the Civil Aviation Authority, and London City a 16 percentage-point improvement.

Three-quarters of scheduled flights to or from London’s five airports were on time – 10 percentage points better than in the same period of 2007.

The punctuality of charter flights also improved. Other than at Gatwick where more flights were delayed in the final quarter than in the same period last year.

Just over two-thirds of charters were on time, but charter carriers continued to lag the on-time performance of scheduled airlines. Charter delays were also longer, averaging 24 minutes compared with the average scheduled delay of 13 minutes. The average delay at Heathrow was 14 minutes.

The performance at Heathrow appears to have improved following the opening of Terminal 5 a year ago. Punctuality at other airports will have been aided by a decline in services owing to the recession.

The CAA publishes regular punctuality figures for 10 UK airports – the five in London, plus Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle. Flights are considered to be on time if arriving or departing within 15 minutes of schedule.


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