LONDON: Three Middle Eastern carriers have been listed among the airlines with the worst flight delays in the UK, Sky News reported.
According to figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority for 2022, Qatar Airways reported average delays per flight of 31 minutes, 48 seconds, placing it third in the rankings.
However, Hungary’s Wizz Air, a popular budget carrier across Europe, recorded average delays of 46 minutes, six seconds, making it the most unpunctual airline for British travelers on the list of 31.
The figures, when measuring delays among airlines that recorded more than 2,500 flights from UK airports, found that the average flight delay was 23 minutes.
Which? Travel magazine editor, Rory Boland, said: “These figures are worrying, but will be no surprise to passengers who’ve had to endure shoddy treatment from airlines for years.
“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.”
Two other Middle Eastern carriers listed in the figures, Turkish Airlines and Emirates, came in at fourth and 16th in the rankings, respectively.
The former recorded average delays of 29 minutes, 30 seconds, while the latter reported 20 minutes, 36 seconds.
A spokesperson for trade body Airlines UK said: “The whole industry knows how important punctuality is for customers.
“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.”
Norwegian Air Shuttle was listed as the most punctual airline, with average delays of just 13 minutes, 42 seconds.
Wizz Air’s performance has been criticized by British travelers, with the CAA reporting late last year that the carrier was delaying the issuing of refunds and facing a flurry of complaint escalations.
The airline’s flight delays for 2022 were more than three times longer than the previous year.
Paul Smith, CAA consumer director, 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.”
Wizz Air did not respond to Sky News for comment.
Rankings for average delays per flight
1. Wizz Air: 46 minutes and six seconds
2. Tui: 40 minutes and 18 seconds
3. Qatar Airways: 31 minutes and 48 seconds
4. Turkish Airlines: 29 minutes and 30 seconds
5. Pegasus Airlines: 27 minutes and 18 seconds
6. Flybe: 26 minutes and six seconds
7. Air Portugal: 25 minutes and 48 seconds
8. Air Canada: 25 minutes and 18 seconds
9. British Airways: 23 minutes
10. Vueling: 22 minutes and 12 seconds
11. Ryanair: 22 minutes
12. Loganair: 22 minutes
13. Jet2.com: 21 minutes and 42 seconds
14. Air France: 21 minutes
15. Swiss Airlines: 20 minutes and 48 seconds
16. Emirates: 20 minutes and 36 seconds
17. EasyJet: 20 minutes and 24 seconds
18. Lufthansa: 20 minutes
19. Eurowings: 19 minutes and 24 seconds
20. Virgin Atlantic: 19 minutes
21. KLM: 18 minutes and 30 seconds
22. Delta Airlines: 18 minutes and 18 seconds
23. Aer Lingus: 18 minutes and six seconds
24. Eastern Airways: 17 minutes and 30 seconds
25. American Airlines: 16 seconds and 48 seconds
26. Blue Islands: 16 minutes and 42 seconds
27. Aurigny Air Services: 16 minutes and 30 seconds
28. Iberia: 15 minutes and 36 seconds
29. SAS: 14 minutes and 30 seconds
30. United Airlines: 14 minutes and six seconds
31. Norwegian Air Shuttle: 13 minutes and 42 seconds