Study reveals worst, and best, UK airports for flight delays

Manchester Airport has been named as the third worst UK airport for flight delays.

By contrast, Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) is hailed as the second best of the UK’s airports in terms of flight delays.

A survey by the Press Association of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data rates 22 UK airports.

The roll-call places Gatwick at the top of the rankings, with average delays of up to 26 minutes and 54 seconds.

Luton Airport was second (22 minutes and 54 seconds), followed by Manchester (21 minutes and 54 seconds).

The two other airports in the Manchester Airports Group, Stansted and East Midlands were placed at 11th and 20th, respectively, with delays of 19 minutes and six seconds and 15 minutes and 18 seconds, respectively.

The best UK airport is Belfast City (George Best) on 12 minutes and 30 seconds, followed by LJLA with an average flight delay time of 13 minutes and 24 seconds.

The average delay for flights across all airports was almost 20 minutes and 42 seconds – down from 23 minutes and 12 seconds in 2022, when the aviation sector struggled to cope with a surge in demand for holidays following the end of coronavirus travel restrictions.

A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “This analysis ignores important context. Punctuality can be affected by a number of factors, most of which are outside of an airport’s control.

“The two most significant factors contributing to delays in the last year have been industrial action affecting air traffic control in Europe, and the weather.

“Last month 79.8% of flights from Manchester Airport took off on time, comfortably above the national average of 67%.”

They added: “As an industry we are working collectively to achieve the best possible on-time departure rates, while protecting flight schedules and avoiding the need for cancellations.”

An LJLA spokesperson aid: “Whilst delays to flights can often be caused by factors outside of the airport’s control, companies here at Liverpool all work hard to make sure flights operate on time.

“We are, therefore, naturally delighted to see that that the region’s travellers can not only enjoy our faster, easier, friendlier customer experience, there’s also a greater chance that they’ll be jetting off on time, too.”