Flight punctuality falls

The punctuality of both scheduled and charter airlines fell during the fourth quarter of 2005 compared with the same period in 2004, according to figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The average delay for scheduled airlines rose slightly, while the average delay for charter airlines remained the same. During October to December 2005 the overall on-time performance (defined as early to 15 minutes late) of scheduled airlines at the ten UK airports monitored fell by 2% from 75% to 73%, compared with the fourth quarter of 2004. Of the ten monitored airports, only Heathrow and Edinburgh recorded an improvement in the punctuality of scheduled flights. The on-time performance of scheduled flights at Gatwick in the fourth quarter of 2005 fell six percentage points from 77% to 71% compared with the fourth quarter of 2004. Gatwick's year-on-year quarterly punctuality has fallen for each of the last six quarters. The average delay in the fourth quarter across all the scheduled flights monitored increased to 15 minutes in the fourth quarter of 2005 compared with 14 minutes in 2004. No airports experienced a reduction in average delay for scheduled flights in the fourth quarter of 2005 compared with the same period in 2004, although at Heathrow and Edinburgh average delay stayed the same. The proportion of on-time charter flights between October and December 2005 was 69%, one percentage point lower than the 2004 figure of 70%. The proportion of charter flights operating on time fell at all the monitored airports apart from at Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. At Manchester and Edinburgh, on time performance increased from 69%t to 70% and from 66% to 68% respectively, while at Gatwick and Glasgow punctuality remained the same. The average delay in the fourth quarter of 2005 across all the charter flights monitored remained the same as the average delay in the fourth quarter of 2004 at 23 minutes. Across the London airports, average delay fell from 27 minutes to 25 minutes, while at the regional airports average delay increased slightly from 21 to 22 minutes.

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