Saturday, 12 August 2017

Gatwick - UK's Worst Airport For Delays

Photo J Milstein  Gatwick Airport

THE World's busiest single runway airport and the second busiest in the UK, Gatwick, has been named as the worst for delays in the country. 

Passengers departing from the Sussex/Surrey airport suffered the longest average delays of 27 minutes, during summer getaways, according to a BBC analysis of figures collated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

These figures were collected during the last two summers (June to August) and combined to reveal the typical delays. It is perhaps no surprise that the airline with the longest delay was the budget carrier EasyJet. On average their passengers experience delays of 24 minutes when taking all summer flights into consideration, whether delayed or not. An EasyJet spokeswoman claimed "EasyJet operates the largest number of flights of any UK airline, flying over 78 million passengers per year. In 2017, EasyJet will operate 33% more flights than in 2011, with less than 0.8% delayed by more than three hours."

"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.

In second place for the longest delays was charter airline Thomas Cook, closely followed by British Airways. More mainly holiday charter airlines Thomson, Jet2 and Monarch came in at four, five and six respectively. Seven was Ryanair and the Irish low cost carrier was followed by BA CityFlyer, FlyBe and another Irish airline, Aer Lingus, completed the top ten.

Photo J Milstein  Gatwick Airport
Gatwick has always had the significant disadvantage of only having one runway which adds to some delays due to heavy traffic. It has also suffered because it handles more flights to Europe than any other UK airport and is therefore affected more when things go wrong on the continent. "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." A spokesperson for Gatwick said.

"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. We recognise the inconvenience that delays cause to our passengers, and we will continue to do everything possible to prevent them from occurring," he said.

Other airports with the highest average delays include Luton with 24 minutes, Jersey on 21 minutes, Belfast Int with 20 minutes, Birmingham with 18 minutes the same as Edinburgh while Glasgow and Manchester each recorded an average delay of 17 minutes.

Jason Shaw

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