Worst airlines for delays revealed

By Harry Kemble
11/04/2023
Home » Worst airlines for delays revealed

Wizz Air was the airline with the most delays last year, followed by TUI, according to latest data.

The Hungarian carrier had an average delay of just over 46 minutes, while TUI’s was just over 40 minutes.

Qatar Airways came third with an average delay of almost 32 minutes, while Turkish Airlines (29 minutes and 30 seconds) came fourth and Pegasus Airlines (27 minutes and 18 seconds) finished fifth.

The result was based on analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data by the Press Association news agency, reported by the BBC.

The BBC said analysis took into account all scheduled and chartered departures from UK airports by airlines with more than 2,500 flights.

Cancelled flights were not included.

TUI last year said it incurred around €75 million in additional costs during the third quarter because of air traffic control disruption, particularly in the UK.

But the airline added that 96% of guests arrived in their holiday destinations on time or with delays of less than three hours in May and June, which were the worst months for punctuality across the aviation sector.

TUI flies from 21 UK airports, including Glasgow, Inverness, Manchester, Liverpool John Lennon, Birmingham, East Midlands, Cardiff, Southampton, Bournemouth, Bristol and Exeter.  

TUI’s punctuality declined significantly last year compared to 2021, when the airline’s average delay time was 13 minutes and 18 seconds.

Wizz Air and TUI also finished first and second respectively for flight delays in 2021.

CAA Consumer Director Paul Smith said: “Last year too many passengers faced disappointing levels of delays. As we enter the spring and summer season, it is important that airlines provide a high quality service for consumers as the recovery from the pandemic continues.

“Consumers want the best possible service but 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.”

He added the CAA was ‘working closely’ with Wizz Air to ‘improve outcomes for consumers’.

A Wizz Air spokesperson said: “At Wizz Air, we do everything possible to ensure that passengers reach their destination on time and with minimal delay.

“We invest heavily into time performance, which is key to our ultra-efficient business model. A number of issues affecting the global aviation industry contributed to a worse time performance in 2022. These issues resulted from a widespread shortage in staff, in particular within air traffic control, ground operations and baggage handling, security and across airports.

“We are committed to constantly reviewing and refining our processes to mitigate these issues. We have been seeing an overall improvement in the on-time performance of our routes and are confident our passengers are seeing this too.”

The spokesperson added: “The duration of Wizz UK flight delays have reduced by more than 40 per cent on 2022 levels this year, to 26 minutes on average, marking a significant improvement from our 2022 average of 46 minutes.”

TUI declined to comment.

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