By Adrian Bishop
Passengers at Luton Airport face the longest plane delays in the United Kingdom, new research suggests.
On average, London Luton passengers had to wait 20 minutes per flight in 2017, just one minute more than Gatwick, Jersey and Durham Tees Valley airports, which came equal second, according to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data.
Next in the most delayed UK airports departures list were Birmingham and Bristol (18 minutes), Belfast, Manchester and Stansted (17 minutes) and Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Cardiff (17 minutes).
Across the country the average wait for passengers was 15-minutes at the 25 airports featured in the research from the Press Association, using CAA data. Cancelled scheduled and charter flights were not included.
London Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport, had the best performance, with aircraft typically 11 minutes late. Leeds Bradford was second and Belfast City and London City airports third.
A CAA spokesperson says the punctuality data helps passengers “make informed choices about which airports they fly from”.
“The aviation industry should constantly strive to improve punctuality to enhance the passenger experience,” he adds.
A London Luton spokesperson says it regrets any delay for passengers. Punctuality was influenced by many factors outside its control, including air traffic control strikes, bad weather and congested airspace.
Gatwick says it is doing “everything within its power” to punctuality, including using new technology to predict and recover from late flights and speeding up turn-arounds.