Worst airlines for UK flight delays revealed


Wizz Air was the worst major airline for flight delays from the UK last year, according to an investigation.

The figures, from the Civil Aviation Authority and reported by the PA news agency, found that the Hungarian carrier’s UK departures were an average of 46 minutes and six seconds behind schedule last year.

This delay was more than three times longer than the previous year, when it was also ranked the worst for punctuality.

Tui was the second worst, with an average delay of 40 minutes and 18 seconds, followed by Qatar Airways (31 minutes and 48 seconds), Turkish Airlines (29 minutes and 30 seconds) and Pegasus Airlines (27 minutes and 18 seconds).

The most punctual was Norwegian Air Shuttle, with an average delay of just 13 minutes and 42 seconds.

Across all departures from UK airports by airlines with more than 2,500 flights, the average delay was 23 minutes.

Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “These figures are worrying, but will be no surprise to passengers who’ve had to endure shoddy treatment from airlines for years.

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“With a regulator still lacking the appropriate powers to punish airlines who break the law, including withholding refunds, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that some carriers are simply getting away with leaving passengers high and dry.

“To better protect passengers, the government must give the CAA effective powers to clamp down on poor airline behaviour, which includes the ability to hand out hefty fines when they continually flout the law.”

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A Wizz Air Airbus A320 from Sofia, Bulgaria taxis to a gate after landing at Luton Airport after Wizz Air resumed flights today on some routes, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Luton, Britain, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
Wizz Air. File pic

CAA consumer director Paul Smith said: “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.”

The CAA said in December that the carrier was delaying refunds and its passengers were more likely to escalate their complaints.

A spokesman for trade body Airlines UK said: “The whole industry knows how important punctuality is for customers.

“Last year was not representative due to the late unwinding of COVID restrictions which required a very steep ramp up.

“Since then, the sector has invested huge resources into increased resilience for this summer and we can’t wait to welcome people back for their well-earned breaks.”

Wizz Air has not commented.

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