Fewer flights were cancelled and more flights arrived on time at UK airports between January and March 2023, new data from the UK Civil Aviation Authority shows.
A total of 6,400 flights were cancelled in the first three months of the year, down from 7,300 in the previous three months.
Factors including seasonal poor weather and industrial action by French Air Traffic Controllers impacted travel during the quarter, causing flight delays and cancellations.
Some 71.3 per cent of 409,000 UK flights were also deemed to have operated on time (within 15 mins of scheduled), which also improved from the previous period, though remained below 2019 levels.
The average time delay improved from the last period showing signs that resilience is progressing to ensure passengers have positive experiences while travelling.
As passenger numbers continue to increase and move closer to 2019 levels, the UK Civil Aviation Authority hopes to see a continuation of stronger resilience from airlines and airports to improve passenger experience, and avoid delays and cancellations.
Royal Jordanian topped the rankings for on-time performance among airlines that had at least a daily service in the first quarter of 2023 (minimum of 180 movements), with 90 per cent of flights on time, followed by Fly Play (88 per cent) and KLM Cityhopper (85 per cent).
Srilankan Airlines, Egypt Air and Kenya Airways recorded the lowest on-time performance at 39 per cent, 40 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority data also shows air freight continued to see a return to the pre-pandemic trend of the majority of freight being carried in the belly hold of passenger aircraft, rather than dedicated cargo only services.
Compared to Q1 2022, Q1 2023 saw a 53 per cent fall in cargo carried on dedicated freighter services – down to 204,000 tonnes. Cargo carried on passenger aircraft more than doubled to 330,000 tonnes. Overall, nearly 534,000 tonnes of cargo were carried.
Notes to Editor
- Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we continue comparing recent data to 2019 – the latest full year of normal performance – to better understand the impact of the pandemic and aviation industry’s recovery of traffic.
- All statistics can be derived from CAA data published on our website here: https://www.caa.co.uk/data-and-analysis/uk-aviation-market/airports/