Thomson Airways heads up punctuality table

Airline punctuality data website has named Thomson Airways as last summer’s most punctual charter carrier.

It is the fourth year running that the Tui Travel airline has beaten Monarch and Thomas Cook Airlines to the top position.

Overall, the average charter flight operated just over 20 minutes behind schedule during the summer 2011 season, among the better punctuality averages seen during the last decade, and a significant improvement since delays peaked at an average of 31 minutes in summer 2008, the website said.

On-time performance was 74% on average, nine percentage points better than in summer 2010 and only 8% of flights were delayed by over an hour, compared with 12% the previous summer.

Thomson Airways had an average delay of 17 minutes and an on-time performance of 77% and only one in 15 flights was delayed by more than an hour over the season compared with one in 10 the previous summer. The carrier was also the most punctual at all but two of the eight UK reporting airports analysed.

Thomas Cook Airlines recording the best improvement in average delay of the three analysed charter airlines, dropping by 43% from 35 minutes to less than 20 minutes overall.

On-time performance for Thomas Cook flights was close to the level demonstrated by Thomson at nearly 76%, though a larger proportion of longer delays adversely affected the average delay for the airline, according to the website.

Monarch finished the season in third position, though also improved its timekeeping significantly year on year with the average delay reducing by over 25% to 22 minutes. On-time performance for Monarch charter flights was 70.5%, some five percentage points lower than Thomas Cook, though in terms of the proportion of flights delayed by over an hour, the airline achieved the second best performance at 8.1%, flightontime said.

The website placed each airline in a league table and measures the average number of delay minutes over a period between April and October based on flights from Manchester, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham, Luton, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Thomson Airways operations director Dawn Wilson said ”We know how frustrating delays can be for holidaymakers so we do everything we can to reduce waiting times when we do have to deal with unexpected delays.

“We are continually reviewing our performance and will continue to reduce the delay time even further on flights operating across the whole of the UK.”

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