Punctuality of flights dropped at all the ten biggest airports in the United Kingdom in the third quarter of 2015. It is the second quarter of dipping performance of the sector.
According to statistics extracted from Civil Aviation Authority, the flight delays UK data from the period between July and September showed about 70 percent of all scheduled flights to be on time. It can be compared to 76 percent of flights arriving and departing at the correct time as clocked during the summer of 2003. The drop of about six percentage was seen across all monitored airports without any exception. In fact, the decline was particularly noticeable in a few.
In Luton, the percentage of flights which arrived on time dropped 12 points to touch a low 71 percent. For Gatwick, it was a sharp fall of 11 percentage points to touch a shocking 64 percent. In case of Stansted, the number dropped nine points and stood at 74 percent.
London City airport, however, showed a better quality of statistics. It dipped about four percentage points to stand steady at 85 percent.
In case of Heathrow, the airport dealing exclusively with scheduled services, there was a lot of delayed flight news. The percentage of on time departures and arrivals fell from a 2003 summer high of 74 percent to 61 percent in the summer of 2014.
For Edinburgh airport, on time flights were calculated to be at 68 percent. It is in sharp contrast to 74 percent recorded in 2014. Even the punctuality of charter flights showed a marked dip, from a relative high of 70 percent to about 67 percent.
Scheduled flight delays on an average throughout the UK and also at Edinburgh rose from approximately 14 minutes in the summer of 2003 to about 17 minutes in 2014.
In case of charter flights, the overall performance when it comes to punctual departures and arrivals was about 71 percent. It showed a dip of eight percentage points when compared with 2013’s third quarter. Median delay was about 18 minutes.
A flight can be described as “on time” when it is either departing from or arriving at the airport within 15 minutes of the reported time. According to Iain Osborne, who is the group director responsible for the regulatory policy in the CAA, passengers should also arrive at the destination at the correct time as that too is a contributing factor in the delay of flights. He mentioned that punctuality of flights have gradually improved in the recent years.
Osborne said that the figures from last two quarters were not up to the mark and it is the responsibility of the industry to take the required steps to improve the punctuality performance. There are also a number of factors which have negatively affected the punctuality of flights. These include airline strikes in Germany and France. He also added sometimes uncontrollable situations like foggy and poor weather conditions lead to flight delays.