Average flight from Luton airport delayed by 20 mins according to new data

Here’s what the airport had to say
Departures in Luton airport. Picture: London Luton AirportDepartures in Luton airport. Picture: London Luton Airport
Departures in Luton airport. Picture: London Luton Airport

The average flight from Luton Airport was delayed by more than 20 minutes last year, new figures show.

RADAR analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data shows there were 48,955 departures from Luton Airport in 2023, which were delayed on average by 22 minutes and 51 seconds.

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It means passengers departing from Luton Airport suffered among the longest waits from any of the UK's 22 commercial airports with at least 1,000 outbound flights last year.

A London Luton Airport spokesperson said: “Without context, these figures are not helpful to passengers. In 2023, the vast majority of flights from London Luton Airport departed on time and, out of 50,402 departing commercial flights, just 163 (0.3 per cent) were delayed due to factors within our direct control, rather than external factors such as weather, air traffic restrictions and the late arrival of an aircraft.”

Nationally, the average delay for flights was 20 minutes and 43 seconds. This was down from 23 minutes and 12 seconds in 2022, when the aviation sector struggled to cope with a surge in demand for holidays following the end of coronavirus travel restrictions.

CAA director Tim Johnson said it is vital the aviation sector "focuses on resilience" ahead of the summer holiday period to "keep passenger disruption to a minimum".

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He added: "Where people do find themselves facing disruption, we want them to be well-informed about the duty of care that they are entitled to."

Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership, a network of independent travel agents, said flight disruption is "always incredibly frustrating".

She continued: "Any delay can have significant knock-on effects on both leisure and business travellers.”

Across the UK, 14,900 flights were cancelled – this included 486 from Luton Airport, equivalent to 1 per cent of the total departures.

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A spokesperson for the Airport Operators Association trade body said: "Airports work extremely hard to minimise delays while providing a positive, safe and secure experience for passengers.

"These figures do not provide any of the context around operating in a global environment and do not give the travelling public a clear picture of how air travel operates."

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