Ryanair operates seven of the UK’s 10 most often delayed flights, according to new analysis from consumer champion Which?
It claims that its analysis, based on Civil Aviation Authority data, shows that the five of Ryanair’s most frequently delayed flights were from Stansted.
However, Thomas Cook’s flight from Stansted to Dalaman in Turkey is the service that is most often delayed, according to Which?
It claimed that almost a quarter of passengers flying between the two airports with Thomas Cook last year were delayed by more than an hour. This increased to around a third of passengers in July 2018.
This was closely followed by Ryanair’s route between Liverpool and Milan Malpensa, where one in five flights were delayed by an hour or more last year.
Thomas Cook’s Stansted to Antalya service was the third worst. The airline explained its poor punctuality by claiming it cancels flights less frequently than rivals, suggesting that while passengers suffered long delays, it did at least get them to their destination.
“We always want to get our customers on holiday on time and have taken steps to improve punctuality this year, including operating more reserve aircraft to help get flights back on time quickly if delays happen,” it said.
One in five (21.9%) Ryanair flights between Stansted and Nice in the South of France were delayed by an hour or more, along with its routes between Stansted and Leipzig in Germany (21.1%), Luxembourg (20.2%), Billund in Denmark (19.4%), and Bari in southern Italy (19%).
One in four (20.4%) of its flights between Bristol and Bergamo were also substantially delayed.
EasyJet completed the top 10 most delayed routes of 2018, with one in five (18.6%) of its flights from Stansted to Ibiza late by an hour or more.
Stansted was the UK’s worst performing airport for delays in 2018, with more than 10% of its flights departing an hour late, and an average delay of nearly half an hour.
Ryanair strikes were a factor in Stansted’s poor performance, said Which?, But even if Ryanair flights had been excluded from the analysis, Stansted would still have come out as the worst UK airport for punctuality.
Stansted Airport responded to Which? saying it had posted significantly improved results in the first quarter of 2019, in part because Ryanair had “committed to a multi-million pound investment in additional resourcing and equipment to support ground operation.”
EasyJet and Thomas Cook both claimed factors beyond their control were to blame for the delays, such as airspace, weather and strikes.