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CAA - Civil Aviation Authority : UK Flights Maintain Record Punctuality

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06/26/2012 | 09:49am EDT

• In the first quarter of 2012, 82% of scheduled flights were on-time, the same as in the first quarter of 2011, equalling the highest level this century. Average delay was also maintained at 10 minutes.
• Manchester and Heathrow had the worst on-time performance (79%) for scheduled flights, whereas Glasgow, Newcastle, London City, Birmingham and Edinburgh all achieved an on-time performance of over 85%.

Data from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) released today shows that between January and March 2012, the overall on-time performance (defined as the proportion of flights arriving or departing early or up to 15 minutes late) of scheduled flights at the ten UK airports monitored was 82%, the same as in the first quarter of 2011. The average delay across all scheduled flights monitored was ten minutes, the same as in the first quarter of 2011.

In the first quarter of this year, at ten airports the punctuality of 307,000 scheduled and 11,000 charter passenger flights was measured, which represents a 2.0% decrease in scheduled flights and a 6.4 % decrease in charter flights, compared with the first quarter of 2011.

Commenting on the figures, Iain Osborne, CAA Group Director for Regulatory Policy, said: "It is excellent to see that airlines have managed to maintain their record performance this year, but given the decline in flight numbers, we might have hoped to see punctuality improving even further."

Scheduled Flights
On-time performance (defined as early to 15 minutes late) for scheduled flights at London airports increased by one percentage point to 82% but the average delay increased by one minute to 11 minutes, between the first quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. Over the same period, both Gatwick and Luton saw an increase of two percentage points in on-time performance to 84% and 82% respectively. Stansted's on-time performance fell by two percentage points to 84%, while Heathrow's and London City's performance was flat year on year with 79% and 87% respectively of their flights being on-time.

Overall, both the on-time performance and the average delay for scheduled flights at the regional airports monitored stayed at the same level in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. On-time performance fell by two percentage points at Manchester to 79% but increased by one percentage point at Edinburgh, Birmingham and Newcastle to 86%, 87% and 88% respectively and by two percentage points to 88% at Glasgow.

Charter Flights
The proportion of on-time charter flights fell by one percentage point to 71%, in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period of 2011. The average delay across all charter flights monitored in the first quarter of 2012 was 22 minutes, which equalled that recorded in the first quarter of 2011.

Destinations with most passengers
Among the 75 scheduled international destinations with the most passengers in the first quarter of 2012, flights to and from Dubai recorded the worst on-time performance of 66% and flights to and from Toronto the highest average delay of 20 minutes. Flights to and from Rotterdam achieved the best punctuality with an on-time performance of 93% and the lowest average delay of 5 minutes.

For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on: 0207 453 6030; press.office@caa.co.uk

Follow the CAA on @UK_CAA

Notes to Editors

1. Tables containing more information are below:
• Quarterly punctuality data broken down by airport and schedule vs charter flight: Quarterly Results
• Delay statistics for the Top 75 most visited destinations: 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. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.

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