Summer 2010 UK Charter Airline Punctuality
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A return to long delays for UK charter flights
Our analysis of punctuality during the summer 2010 charter flight season saw the unwelcome return of long delays at UK reporting airports, in sharp contrast to the very promising performance seen during summer 2009, with a significant decline in punctuality recorded across UK reporting airports.

The average charter flight operated nearly 29 minutes behind schedule during the summer 2010 season, an increase of nearly 50% compared with summer 2009, and bringing overall charter punctuality close to the worst performance recorded during summer 2008 when flights were held up on average by 31 minutes.

On-time performance was 65% on average, nearly 10 percentage points poorer than in summer 2009 and over 12% of flights were delayed by over an hour, two thirds more than the proportion affected by long delays during the summer 2009 season.

Charter flight delays at UK airports increased sharply between summer 2009 and summer 2010, by nearly 50% to around 29 minutes on average. This made the summer 2010 season one of the worst for delays over nearly a decade.
Despite the disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud during April 2010, charter flight punctuality for flights that did operate was actually better during that month than later in the season when the effects were no longer present. In fact July and May 2010 were the worst months for charter flight delays, meaning airlines cannot use the ash cloud disruption to explain their poor timekeeping during the season.

By comparison, scheduled flight delays during the April to October 2010 period were 39% longer than for the same period during 2009 (49% for charter flights), with on-time performance falling by less than seven percentage points (10 percentage points for charter flights). This shows that while in general all flights were delayed longer during the summer 2010 period, charter flight delays have increased disproportionately.

In a message similar to that presented following the poor on-time performance by charter airlines during the summer 2008 season, it is to be hoped these results will encourage airlines to look closely again at what can be done to improve timekeeping in summer 2011.

Although all four analysed charter airlines suffered a decline in punctuality during summer 2010, Thomson Airways maintained first position for punctuality during the season for the third consecutive year, with an average delay of around 22 minutes (some 7 minutes shorter than the nearest competitor) and on-time performance of 71%, five percentage points higher than the charter average.

Thomson Airways was also the most punctual charter carrier at all but one of the eight UK reporting airports analysed during summer 2010, being relegated into second place only at Birmingham Airport where the accolade went to Monarch Airlines.

Just less than 1 in 10 Thomson charter flights was delayed by over an hour during the season, while on average around 1 in 8 charter flights across the UK fell into this category.

Only around 1 in 50 Thomson charter flights suffered an extensive delay of three hours or more during summer 2010, and while this is close to double the proportion affected in summer 2009 for the airline it was still significantly less than the levels seen for major competitors Monarch and Thomas Cook.

Monarch Airlines followed as runner-up for the season, despite a 48% increase in the average delay of their charter flights from 20 minutes in summer 2009 to over 29 minutes in summer 2010. Similarly, on-time performance of Monarch charter flights slipped from 73% in summer 2009 to 66% in summer 2010.

Thomas Cook Airlines finished the season in third position with the most significant drop in punctuality seen among charter airlines, a nearly 65% increase in the average delay from 21 minutes in summer 2009 to 35 minutes in summer 2010. This returned the airline to summer 2008 delay levels. Thomas Cook charter flights suffered a much higher proportion of delays in excess of 1 hour compared with the average for all charter flights during the season, at 1 in 6 flights, up significantly from 1 in 10 during summer 2009.

For the second summer season running, Viking Airlines had the poorest punctuality, with their average charter flight delayed by 52 minutes during summer 2010, around 80% longer than the average for all charter flights during the period. Less than half of all Viking flights operated on time and a nearly a quarter of their flights were delayed by over an hour - double the UK charter average.

Summer 2010 UK Charter Airline Punctuality
The following table shows punctuality and average delay data for charter airlines operating at UK reporting airports during the summer 2010 season over the period 1st April 2010 to 31st October 2010 inclusive.
 Also available as a downloadable PDF document
Charter Airline Punctuality at UK Airports
Summer 2010

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

S10 Rank Airline Average Delay
1 hour+ late
3 hours+ late
Total Flights
Change in Average Delay YoY
1 Thomson Airways 22.36 14.10 70.58 79.92 9.30 5.13 1.97 1.07 27,226 28,671 +58.55%
2 Monarch Airlines 29.40 19.91 66.19 72.87 12.03 7.67 3.30 1.84 5,968 6,469 +47.65%
3 Thomas Cook Airlines 34.92 21.28 62.35 76.47 16.48 10.16 4.24 2.42 21,038 22,240 +64.06%
4 Viking Airlines 52.22 38.76 44.59 49.36 23.39 16.45 6.58 3.17 2,386 2,431 +34.74%
Average (Above 4 Airlines) 29.03 18.40 65.96 76.63 12.85 7.74 3.15 1.74 56,618 59,811 +57.73%
Average (All Charter Flights) 28.52 19.08 65.19 74.40 12.43 7.95 2.96 1.68 63,785 68,239 +49.48%
© Copyright www.flightontime.info - analysis of CAA Economic Regulation Group Data

Table Notes

* 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 2010 season):

Monarch Airlines: London Stansted (3); Glasgow (1)
Thomas Cook Airlines: London Luton (2)
Viking Airlines: London Stansted (2)

** - 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 2010 season 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
Monarch Airlines Monarch Airlines
Thomas Cook Airlines Thomas Cook Airlines
Thomson Airways Thomson Airways
Viking Airlines Viking Airlines
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