UK airports enjoy record flight punctuality for first quarter of 2014

Date: 11 July 2014

• 84% of scheduled flights landed ‘on-time’ at UK airports in the first quarter of 2014.
• On-time performance was six percentage points higher than the same period in 2013.
• All 10 airports monitored saw punctuality improvements.
• Latest CAA figures show the best first quarter on-time performance since records began.

UK airports have landed the best ever first quarter on-time performance with 84% of scheduled flights ‘on-time’.

The latest data shows that between January and March 2014, overall on-time performance was six percentage points higher than the same period in 2014, making this the best first quarter since records began in 1992.

The five biggest London airports, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City, saw an overall increase of eight percentage points of on-time flights as a proportion of total scheduled flights, rising from 76% to 84%.

And the five other airports monitored, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow and Newcastle, have seen an overall increase of six percentage points, from 81% to 87% of flights on-time.

Individually, all ten airports saw punctuality improvements. On-time performance increases for scheduled flights ranged from four to eight percentage points, with the biggest increase being at Newcastle, which achieved an increase of nine percentage points.

An ‘on-time’ flight is defined as departing/arriving at a UK airport either early or up to 15 minutes late. The average delay across all the monitored scheduled flights was nine minutes, which is a reduction of four minutes when compared to the first quarter of 2013.

The overall on-time performance for charter flights was 76%, which is an increase of seven percentage points, when compared with the first quarter of 2013 and the average delay fell by five minutes.

In the first quarter of 2014, 304,000 scheduled and 10,000 charter passenger flights at the ten airports were monitored for punctuality by the CAA. This represents a 2.3% increase in scheduled flights and a 10.5% fall in charter flights, compared with the same quarter in 2013.

Destinations with most flights

The busiest 75 scheduled international destinations had between 900 and 13,000 flights to and from the 10 UK airports monitored in the first quarter of 2014.

Of those, Rotterdam recorded the highest on-time performance with 91.7% and Hannover had the lowest average delay of 5.1 minutes.

Flights to and from Dubai achieved the lowest on-time performance with 63.4% and Delhi had the highest average delay of 28.3 minutes

For more information, please contact the CAA Press Office, on press.office@caa.co.uk, or 020 7453 6030. You can follow the CAA on Twitter at @UK_CAA

Notes to Editors

1. Tables containing more information are below:
• Quarterly punctuality data broken down by airport and scheduled vs charter flights: Quarterly Results
• Delay statistics for the Top 75 most visited international destinations on scheduled flights: Top 75 Airports
• Historic punctuality data on a quarter by quarter basis broken down by London and regional airports: Historic Data

2. The CAA statistics on punctuality of passenger flights at ‘London airports’: Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and London City, and ‘regional airports’: Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow cover both arrivals and departures. Actual times of operation are derived from air transport movements returns made to the CAA, which are compared with planned arrival and departure times supplied by Airport Co-ordination Ltd. Figures for Glasgow Airport became available in July 1993, Newcastle and Edinburgh airports from April 1996 and London City from April 1997. All other airports report from April 1989.

3. It should be noted that the statistics in this notice cover only those flights which were operated; they do not cover those flights which were cancelled. Some airport or airline business models prioritise delaying flights rather than cancelling them outright.

4. Delays can occur for a variety of reasons. Operating circumstances, both within and without the airline’s control, also vary by route and by type of service. These tables are not intended and should not be treated as a direct comparison between scheduled and charter services.

5. In these punctuality data, 'delay' is recorded as the difference between an aircraft's scheduled and actual arrival or departure time at the airport terminal. It does not therefore measure any delay, such as that due to congestion, which has already been allowed for in the planned flight times of the service.

6. Punctuality data are published monthly and annually in summary and in full on the CAA website: www.caa.co.uk/punctuality. For data queries please contact one of our analysts at the Civil Aviation Authority, Aviation Intelligence, K4, CAA House, 45-59 Kingsway, London WC2B 6TE, telephone 020 7453 6245.

7. On-time performance and delay is calculated from the scheduled on-stand time (provided by Airport Co-ordination Ltd.), the reported runway time (provided by the airport) and the expected time an aircraft takes to travel between a stand and the runway (taxiing time - calculated from historic data). The use of average taxi times is sufficient for calculating an aggregate level of on-time performance, but would not be suitable for reviewing the punctuality of an individual flight.

8. In 2009, the CAA, in consultation with the airports, undertook a review of the taxiing time assumptions, and updated the values used for quarter 1 2009 data onwards. To ensure that the comparison is like-for-like, the punctuality data for 2008 has also been recalculated using the revised taxiing time assumptions.

9. The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its regulatory activities range from making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards to preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency.

10. The information contained in this report has been compiled from various sources and it is not possible for the CAA to verify whether it is accurate, nor does the CAA undertake to do so. Consequently, the CAA cannot accept any liability for any financial loss caused by any person's reliance on it.