From Air Transat to EasyJet: Here are the most delayed airlines in the UK

Rebecca Smith
These names aren't exactly flying high on punctuality
These names aren't exactly flying high on punctuality (Source: Getty)

Here we have it, just in time for the summer holidays: the least punctual airlines in Britain.

Research from Which? has found that Air Transat, Icelandair and Norwegian Air were the least punctual airlines. Just 55 per cent of Air Transat's inbound flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time.

Having analysed landing times for 850,000 flights at 25 UK airports from January to December last year, Which? said that on average, 74 per cent of all flights arrived on time.

Read more: Carriers of shame: Here are the most complained about airlines for 2016

As for the most punctual, Dutch airline KLM, which recently returned to London City Airport after an eight year absence, took the title, followed by Qatar Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Etihad.

Montreal-based Air Transat said the statistics didn't take into account delays caused by factors outside of the airline's control like weather and air traffic control and when those were included, its punctuality rate was 78 per cent.

Looking at UK airlines specifically, EasyJet was the least punctual with 66 per cent of its flights arriving on time, while Ryanair was on 77 per cent and British Airways 74 per cent.

Flybe was the UK's most punctual with 82 per cent of flights landing on time.

The 10 worst airlines for punctuality

Airline Percentage of flights on time
1. Air Transat 55.17 per cent
2. Icelandair 56.09 per cent
3. Norwegian 59.86 per cent
4. Malaysia 60.23 per cent
5. Air Canada 64.48 per cent
6. Air Portugal 64.59 per cent
7. Vueling Airlines 65.23 per cent
8. EasyJet 66.19 per cent
9. Emirates 67.42 per cent
10. American Airlines 67.50 per cent

Passengers on delayed flights are sometimes in line for compensation under the current EU Denied Boarding Regulation, but when flights are affected by factors such as extreme weather or strike action they are unlikely to get compensation.

Richard Headland, Which? magazine editor, said:

These figures show just how frequently flights fail to reach their destination on time. If you’re unlucky enough to experience a severe delay, compensation is available and people should claim what they’re rightly entitled to.

“We know that resolving complaints with airlines can be very tricky process, so we’re calling on the next government to legislate for a new, mandatory Transport Ombudsman."

Last month, TripAdvisor released its compilation of the best airlines in the world, determined using an algorithm taking into account the "quantity and quality" of airline reviews and ratings submitted by travellers worldwide, over a 12-month period.

Emirates took the top spot there, followed by Singapore Airlines and Brazil's Azul. Two American airlines featured in the top 10, JetBlue in fourth place, and Alaska Airlines in ninth.

Read more: Here are the 10 best airlines in the world

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