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Flight waiting times show no improvement

Only one airport has cut delays for passengers

Passengers are spending more time waiting at airports, according to figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The statistics show punctuality of scheduled flights worsened between July and September.

Delays caused by the discovery of an alleged airline terror plot in August 2006 are believed to have affected the figures.

The number of scheduled airlines which left on time fell by 8 per cent to 63 per cent during the third quarter of 2006 compared with the same period last year, according to data collected at 10 UK airports.

Every airport but one saw a drop in the number of on-time scheduled flights. The exception, Birmingham, saw punctuality increase by 1 per cent.

Rise in average delay

The average delay rose from 16 minutes in 2005 to 20 minutes, the CAA added.

Again, Birmingham was the only airport to see an improvement, as it cut the average delay by a minute.

Passengers delayed at Stansted now wait an average of 20 minutes, and at Luton the average delay is 27 minutes.

Chartered airlines remained as punctual as last year, with two-thirds leaving on time, the CAA said.

The average delay on chartered flights fell from 31 minutes to 29 minutes compared with the same three-month period in 2005.

Flights from abroad

Travellers returning from abroad have also endured delays, as 20 of the top 75 destinations had an on-time record of less than 60 per cent.

Average delays at both New York airports, Los Angeles, Chicago and Nice were all half an hour.

Chartered airlines fared better with passengers at Menorca’s Mahon airport waiting just 14 minutes on average and 80 per cent of flights departing on time.

At Dalaman, Turkey, tourists endured waits of around 34 minutes, the longest average delay for chartered airlines.

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