Northern Ireland

Flight delays shortest at Belfast City Airport

Flight delays at Belfast City were the shortest in the UK in 2018
Flight delays at Belfast City were the shortest in the UK in 2018

FLIGHT delays for passengers at Belfast City Airport were the shortest in the UK last year, a study has found.

Departures from the east Belfast airport were an average of eight minutes late.

Civil Aviation Authority figures were used to calculate the average delay for scheduled and chartered flights departing 24 major UK airports during 2018.

Cancelled flights were not included.

Flights across the featured airports were delayed by an average of 16 minutes.

The figure was 15 minutes for Belfast International, where passengers have also complained on several occasions of facing lengthy security delays.

London Stansted performed worst, where flights were an average of 25 minutes late.

It is a hub for several low-cost eastern European airlines as well as being the largest base for Ryanair.

Birmingham and London Luton recorded the joint second worst punctuality performance, with aircraft typically taking off 19 minutes behind schedule.

Rory Boland, editor of consumer magazine Which? Travel, said: "It's completely unacceptable for passengers to be regularly delayed by nearly half an hour.

"These delays aren't just an inconvenience but can leave holidaymakers hundreds of pounds out of pocket because of missed connections, transfers and fines for picking up their hire car late.

"While compensation is available for delays of over three hours, airlines should stop passing the buck and make it easier for their passengers by finally introducing automatic compensation."

Trade body the Airport Operators Association said delays were caused by a "range of factors" including the 'Beast from the East' cold wave and strikes by air traffic controllers in Europe.