Civil Aviation Authority data on arriving and departing British and Irish aircraft for the past two years has been examined by the BBC Data Unit, and the results are in.
It has been noticed that during the traditionally busy months of June, July and August in 2015 and 2016, passengers using easyJet and Gatwick airport have experienced the most delays, with an average ‘tardy time’ rate of 24 and 27 minutes late (respectively) for both offenders.
Luton Airport only just escaped the award, at 24-minute average delay time, while British Airways managed to come in third place with 18 minutes.
Which airports and airlines performed best?
Aer Lingus were noted to have given the best performance of all the British and Irish airlines, with an average delay time of 12 minutes, rivalling Ryanair, coming in just three minutes later. Of the UK airlines, Flybe performed most efficiently, with just a 13-minute delay record, and Monarch airlines tied with the Irish Ryanair at 15 minutes.
Among the best performing airports were Leeds Bradford, who tied with the George Best Belfast City airport at just 10 minutes average delay. Birmingham International and Edinburgh did not fare too badly, sharing an average delay time of 18 minutes, but were narrowly beaten by Manchester, Glasgow and Stansted airports with 17 minutes.
French ATC strikes during the summers of 2015 and 2016 did not help easyJet or Gatwick airport’s position, as its location does attract French visitors and tourists moving in both directions.
easyJet released a statement in its defence, saying [of the air strikes], ‘Despite a number of adverse external factors like increasingly congested airspace, particularly in the London area, and record numbers of Air Traffic Control strikes, over the last year easyJet has actually reduced the proportion of flights delayed by more than 3 hours. We work hard to minimise disruption and fully comply with all relevant regulations.’
A Gatwick airport representative also spoke to the BBC, and said, ‘Gatwick has made it a priority to address punctuality and, in partnership with our airlines and ground handlers, we are already seeing the benefits of a new wide range of measures that have been implemented to improve punctuality.’