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We can reveal the airports, airlines and routes that have the best and worst records for cancellations and delays

In 2023, thousands of UK flight departures and arrivals were canceled or delayed. Using data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and aviation data analytics firm OAG, The Telegraph can reveal the airports, airlines and routes that have the best and worst records for cancellations and delays.

Enter your flight details above to see the chances of a cancellation and the average delay in minutes for your trip, plus information on how specific airlines performed on each route.

The best and worst airports for delays

The worst British international airport for delays in 2023 was Gatwick, with just 54.7 percent of flights departing or arriving on time (up to 15 minutes after scheduled departure time), according to The Telegraph’s analysis of CAA data. Bristol (61.6 percent punctuality), Manchester (61.7 percent), Edinburgh (61.9 percent) and Luton (63.2 percent) make up the rest of the five lowest airports in terms of delays.

The top airport for delays was Aberdeen, where 83.5 percent of flights departed or arrived on time. Smaller airports tended to be more punctual than larger ones; Belfast City (75.2 percent), Exeter (74.8 percent), Teesside (73.5 percent) and Liverpool (73.5 percent) were also in the top five.

In terms of average delay time, London City and Belfast City both averaged 13 minutes – the best of any airport in the country. Heathrow had an average delay of 20 minutes, Manchester’s 22 minutes, while Gatwick was bottom in this category with an average delay of 27 minutes – passed only by the Isle of Man, which had an average delay of 29 minutes in 2023.

OAG’s John Grant said: “On-time performance is crucial to the entire aviation industry and every day brings a new set of challenges, some of which are within the control of the airline or airport, while others – such as air traffic control, labor disputes in Europe and even the weather – are not.”

The best and worst airports for cancellations

According to CAA data, the Isle of Man was the worst UK airport for cancellations in 2023 (5.46 percent), around one in 18 flights. Aberdeen (4.6 percent), London City (4.21 percent), Exeter (3.81 percent) and Belfast City (3.73 percent) make up the rest of the bottom five.

The top airport for cancellations was Bournemouth, with a cancellation rate of just 0.22 percent, or one in 454 flights. East Midlands (0.44 per cent), Stansted (0.65 per cent), Luton (1.06 per cent) and Belfast International (1.07 per cent) all also performed well.

Of the other major airports, Manchester had the best cancellation rate at just 1.27 percent, while Gatwick (1.88 percent) and Heathrow (2.1 percent) had similar records.

The best and worst airlines for delays

The airline with the longest average delay for departures in 2023 was Wizz Air, at 32.4 minutes, according to CAA data. Egypt Air, BH Air and Turkey’s Corendon Airlines all recorded averages of half an hour or more.

At the other end of the spectrum, the best airline in terms of delays was Norwegian airline Wideroe, which had an average delay of just 7.8 minutes. JetBlue, Malaysian Airlines and Japan Airlines also performed well on their departures from the UK.

Looking at the main airlines used by British holidaymakers, Tui Airways had an average delay of 27.4 minutes, British Airways 22.3 minutes, easyJet 21.5 minutes and Ryanair 19.8 minutes.

The best and worst airlines for cancellations

The worst airline for cancellations is British domestic airline Eastern Airways, which had a cancellation rate of 9 percent of departures from Britain. ITA Airways, the Italian flag carrier, was in second place with a cancellation rate of 7.5 percent, while Wideroe (4.9 percent), KLM (4.5 percent) and Aurigny (4.2 percent) accounted for the rest of the bottom five shapes. .

The airlines with the best cancellation rates include Japan Airlines, Corendon and All Nippon Airways (ANA), each of which had a 100 percent track record for operating their flights. Singapore (0.05 percent cancelled), KLM Cityhopper (0.12 percent), Tui Airways (0.14 percent) and BA Euroflyer (0.15 percent) also performed well in this department.

Of the major airlines, performed the best: only 149 of the 50,360 flights canceled (0.3 percent). Ryanair’s record was also impressive: only 520 of 151,313 departures (0.34 percent) were canceled. Wizz Air had a cancellation rate of 1 percent, easyJet’s 1.5 percent, while British Airways had just under 3 percent of all scheduled flights canceled.

The best and worst times of the year to travel

When it comes to flight delays and cancellations, June is the worst summer month to fly, according to OAG flight data for 2023.

Of the 20 worst days for cancellations in 2023, five occurred in June. It was also the summer month with the highest average cancellation rate, with 2.2 percent of all UK departures canceled. August came in second, at 2.1 per cent, although that figure is skewed by the Bank Holiday 2023 air traffic control collapse. Excluding that event, the average cancellation rate for August was 1.2 per cent. May had the lowest average cancellation rate, at 1.3 percent of all canceled flights.

The summer month with the biggest delays was also June, when 82 percent of flights departed on time. August had the second worst figure at 85.2 percent, with little difference between May (86.5), July (86.7) and September (86.6). By far the worst month of the year in terms of delays was December, when almost one in four flights (24 percent) did not depart on time last year.

The most problem-prone routes

The route with the highest cancellation rate (according to the CAA data) was Gatwick to Catania, operated by British Airways. Of the 23 scheduled flights in 2023, 14 (60.8 percent) were canceled. Of the international routes with more than 100 flights, Aberdeen to Amsterdam with KLM had a cancellation rate of 19.4 percent. Gatwick to New York JFK with British Airways had a cancellation rate of 15.9 percent, and London City to Milan with ITA had a cancellation rate of 15.8 percent.

Of the services with more than 100 flights in 2023, Gatwick to Paphos (Cyprus), operated by Tui Airways, had the longest average delay of 99 minutes. Heathrow to Islamabad on British Airways had an average delay of 76 minutes, while Luton to Tirana on Wizz Air also had an average delay of 76 minutes out of 935 flights.

This story was first published in July 2023 and has been revised and updated.

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