The worst airlines for delays out of UK airports

Wizz Air, Tui and Qatar Airways were among the least punctual

Wizz Air was the worst major airline for flight delays from UK airports for the second year in a row, an investigation has found. Reuters
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New data from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has revealed that, for the second year in a row, Wizz Air was the worst major airline for flight delays out of UK airports last year.

Wizz Air operates short-haul flights from eight UK airports, including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Gatwick and Luton. The carrier’s UK departures were an average of 46 minutes and six seconds behind schedule in 2022. This is more than three times longer than the previous year, when it was also ranked in last place for punctuality.

Travel and tourism company Tui was the second worst in terms of punctuality last year, with an average delay of 40 minutes and 18 seconds. It was followed by Qatar Airways at 31 minutes and 48 seconds; Turkish Airlines at 29 minutes and 30 seconds; and Pegasus Airlines, at 27 minutes and 18 seconds.

Norwegian Air Shuttle recorded the best performance, with an average delay of just 13 minutes and 42 seconds. Results were drawn from data covering all scheduled and chartered departures from UK airports by airlines with more than 2,500 flights. Cancelled flights were not included. The average delay for all flights was 23 minutes.

Paul Smith, consumer director of CAA, said “too many passengers faced disappointing levels of delays” last year.

“The CAA has regularly asked for stronger consumer enforcement powers, including the ability to impose fines on airlines. When things do go wrong, we expect airlines to proactively provide passengers with information about their rights when flights are disrupted, as well as offer timely support and assistance.

“We’ve already raised concerns about Wizz Air and are working closely with the airline to improve outcomes for consumers.”

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said that strikes by security staff at Heathrow, as well as border officials at several airports in the country, means travellers flying out of the UK may be in for another disruptive year when it comes to air travel.

“This may end up an equally difficult and unpredictable year for those expecting smooth journeys on every trip.”

Updated: April 09, 2023, 11:51 AM