- Oli Scarff / Getty
Hoping to catch all your flights on time this summer? Then you might want to think twice about which airport you fly from – and which airline you take.
A BBC analysis has revealed that summer air passengers leaving Gatwick Airport experience the longest average flight delays in the UK – an average of 27 minutes for all outbound flights.
It also shows that EasyJet is the worst major airline for delays, with an average of 24 minutes.
The analysis, carried out by the BBC’s data journalism team, is based on the last two years of CAA data for all flights from or to UK airports during June to August. Flights that took off or landed on time or early were recorded as having a delay of zero minutes.
Here, you can see how the 10 biggest airlines rank for length of average flight delay, from longest to shortest:
EasyJet Thomas Cook British Airways Thomson Airways Jet2.com Monarch Ryanair BA CityFlyer Flybe Aer Lingus
EasyJet told the BBC it appears at the top of the list partly because it has more flights to and from Europe than the others, and claimed that many delays are beyond its control.
An EasyJet spokeswoman said: “In fact, despite a number of adverse external factors like increasingly congested airspace, particularly in the London area, and record numbers of air traffic control strikes, over the last year, EasyJet has actually reduced the proportion of flights delayed by more than three hours.”
She did not address the prevalence of more minor delays.
Meanwhile, Gatwick was closely followed by Luton (24 minutes), Jersey (21 minutes), and Belfast International (20 minutes) for the airport with the longest average flight delays, according to The Independent.
Among the top 10 airports in the UK, London City had the shortest average delay at 13 minutes.
A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport told the BBC: “We recognise the inconvenience that delays cause to our passengers, and we will continue to do everything possible to prevent them from occurring.”
“We operate the world’s busiest and most efficient single runway airport, but, over recent years, Gatwick has been disproportionately affected by issues beyond our control.”
“These include repeated strike action by French, Greek, Spanish and Italian air traffic controllers and airport employees, prolonged bad weather, and heavily congested airspace above parts of Europe and London.”
He added: “Gatwick has made it a priority to address punctuality and, in partnership with our airlines and ground handlers, we are already seeing the benefits of a new wide range of measures that have been implemented to improve punctuality.”