FLIGHTS were more punctual during Edinburgh airport’s busiest months last summer despite passenger numbers topping one million a month for the first time, Civil Aviation Authority figures showed today.
A total of 83 per cent of flights at Scotland’s busiest airport were within 15 minutes of schedule - the industry’s timekeeping yardstick - between July and September.
This compares to 82 per cent over the same period in 2012 and is thought to equal the airport’s best-ever summer performance, which was last reached in 2011.
Passengers on 28,000 flights were delayed by an average of ten minutes, which was unchanged on the last two years.
However, passengers on the airport’s 1,000 charter flights saw punctuality fall by 3 per cent to 69 per cent, with average delays unchanged at 20 minutes.
A record 3 million passengers used the airport over the three months, with more than one million in both July and August - which were also record monthly totals.
A decade ago, punctuality at the airport suffered as it has got busier, then improved during the slump in air travel triggered by the economic downturn some six years ago.
At Glasgow airport, punctuality was unchanged at 83 per cent, with average delays lengthening by one minute to 11 minutes.
The timekeeping figure for the airport’s 18,000 scheduled flights is thought to equal its best for the period.
But in contrast to Edinburgh, passengers on Glasgow’s 3,000 charter flights enjoyed a 5 per cent improvement in punctuality to an average 79 per cent, which could be its best ever summer figure.
Average waits were down by five minutes to 16 minutes.
The Scottish airports’ performance compares favourably with Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester - the UK’s three busiest airports - with 76, 75 and 78 per cent punctuality respectively.
However, the much smaller London City was the best performer of the ten airports measured by the CAA, at 89 per cent.
Stansted, the fourth busiest, was also better, at 85 per cent, along with Birmingham at 88 per cent and Newcastle at 86 per cent. Luton was at 85 per cent.
Iain Osborne, the CAA’s group director for regulatory policy, said: “These figures highlight the industry’s performance for aviation’s busiest period of the year, with millions of passengers taking flights for their summer holidays.
“It is therefore good to see most passengers arrived at their destination in reasonable time.
“However, this still means many passengers suffered disruption over the summer, and we continue to challenge all parts of the aviation industry to work in partnership to improve punctuality and the experience of the UK’s travelling public.”