Summer 2008 UK Charter Airline Punctuality
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Long Delays in a Season of Mergers
The summer 2008 season saw significant consolidation in the UK charter airline sector, with two large mergers between Thomas Cook Airlines and MyTravel Airways (which became Thomas Cook Airlines), and Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways (which will become Thomson Airways). As such only four major UK charter airlines were operating at the start of the season, however this changed again in September 2008 when XL Airways ceased operations following the collapse of the XL Leisure Group.

In terms of punctuality the main feature of the summer 2008 charter season was a sharp rise in delays with the average charter flight operating over 30 minutes behind schedule at UK reporting airports (a 14% increase from summer 2007) and 61% on-time performance (6% points lower than for summer 2007), resulting in the lowest charter flight OTP level recorded for a summer season in seven years.

Charter flight delays at UK airports during summer 2008 were at their highest level for seven years, and over 50% higher than in summer 2003.
Going forward, there are likely to be only three UK charter airlines included in our punctuality analysis for subsequent seasons; Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines and Monarch Airlines. It is to be hoped that, following a period of consolidation in the industry, attention to on-time performance brings better results for summer 2009.

Thomsonfly & First Choice Airways secured first position for punctuality during the summer 2008 season, despite a slight fall in timekeeping compared with summer 2007. The combined airlines recorded an average delay of 25 minutes and 63% on-time performance.

Thomsonfly / First Choice was also the most punctual charter carrier at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and London Stansted during summer 2008.

For future seasons flights operated by the two airlines will be merged into a single operation as Thomson Airways.
XL Airways followed as runner-up for the season, although this was only based on data up to September 2008 due to the suspension of operations prior to the end of the summer. Nevertheless the airline was on target for better punctuality compared with summer 2007 and was the only UK charter carrier recording a timekeeping improvement during the season, with the highest OTP at 68%.

A sharp increase in delays was seen for Thomas Cook Airlines (now merged with MyTravel Airways), whose average delay was 30% higher during summer 2008 compared with summer 2007, at 35 minutes on average. The airline finished in third position with 61% on-time performance. Thomas Cook operated more flights over an hour late than any other analysed charter airline during the season at nearly 17%, equivalent to 1 in 6 flights.

Monarch Airlines charter flights had the poorest punctuality during the summer 2008 season, with the average flight delayed by 40 minutes, nearly 50% higher than in summer 2007, and only 54% on-time performance. This is a disappointing result following the "Most Improved Charter Airline" accolade awarded to Monarch for punctuality in summer 2007.

Summer 2008 UK Charter Airline Punctuality
The following table shows punctuality and average delay data for UK charter airlines during the summer 2008 season over the period 1st April 2008 to 31st October 2008 inclusive.
 Also available as a downloadable PDF document
Data Methodology UK Charter Airline Punctuality
Summer 2008

Users should take note of our Data Methodology, which details the method by which the data is both gathered and analysed.

S08 Rank Airline Average Delay
1 hour+ late
3 hours+ late
Total Flights
Change in Average Delay YoY
1 Thomsonfly & First Choice 24.48 23.32 63.23 68.75 9.78 8.73 1.93 2.07 34,166 34,839 +4.98%
2^ XL Airways 25.27 29.79 68.44 70.30 9.32 10.33 2.88 3.55 5,557 10,125 -15.16%
3 Thomas Cook Airlines 35.11 26.88 60.68 68.30 16.78 11.48 4.24 2.80 22,374 25,826 +30.61%
4 Monarch Airlines 39.83 26.83 54.44 62.36 16.13 11.27 5.13 2.27 7,109 6,734 +48.41%
Average (Above 4 Airlines) 29.56 25.66 61.92 68.25 12.66 10.07 3.08 2.52 69,206 77,524 +15.20%
Average (All Charter Flights) 30.49 26.85 60.52 66.41 13.23 10.65 3.11 2.56 80,860 90,321 +13.54%
© Copyright www.flightontime.info - analysis of CAA Economic Regulation Group Data

Table Notes

^ - XL Airways discontinued operations during September 2008
* OTP = On-Time Performance, percentage of flights operating early, on-time or up to 15 minutes late
All charter flight movements (arrivals and departures) were analysed at all 10 UK Reporting Airports** for each airline except where a small number of flights were operated which were excluded from the analysis, as follows (exclusions apply to 2008 season):

XL Airways: London Stansted (4)
Thomas Cook Airlines: Edinburgh (11)
Monarch Airlines: London Stansted (11)

** - 10 UK Reporting Airports: Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, Manchester, London Stansted, Newcastle

The menus on the right link to pages showing more detailed punctuality statistics for the summer 2008 season to date for charter flights at UK reporting airports. Airline data, for example, is available down to reporting airport level.

You can view specific data for several UK charter airlines, or view charter airline delays at airport level, by selecting a page from the appropriate menu to the right.
Detailed Airline Statistics
Astraeus Astraeus
First Choice Airways First Choice Airways
Monarch Airlines Monarch Airlines
MyTravel Airways MyTravel Airways
Thomas Cook Airlines Thomas Cook Airlines
Thomsonfly Thomsonfly
XL Airways XL Airways
Detailed Airport Statistics
Birmingham Airport Birmingham
Edinburgh Airport Edinburgh
Glasgow Airport Glasgow
London Gatwick Airport London Gatwick
London Luton Airport London Luton
London Stansted Airport London Stansted
Manchester Airport Manchester
Newcastle Airport Newcastle