According to data research by the Civil Aviation Authority, flights departing from Birmingham Airport saw the longest delays in 2021.
In 2021, Birmingham was the airport with the longest average delay (12 minutes, 24 seconds), followed by Southampton, Heathrow, Exeter, and Aberdeen.
All scheduled and chartered departures are considered in the ranking, however cancelled flights are excluded.
Many delayed departures, according to Birmingham, were able to make up time in the air.
This happened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s drastic fall in flying numbers.
According to a spokeswoman, last year was “a bad moment for aviation,” and because of Covid, Birmingham Airport’s capacity and staffing were limited to only one-fourth of usual levels.
He did, however, add that “huge air traffic cutbacks” allowed “flights setting off late to catch up on route.”
Birmingham is the seventh busiest airport in the UK and offers more than 100 short-haul flights in addition to long-haul destinations including Dubai, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the US.
Airlines including Ryanair, Tui Airways, and Jet2.com have bases there.
The hike followed widespread employment losses in the industry in the aftermath of the pandemic, but the airport, which is partially owned by several local authorities, said its senior management were still paid at market rates.
Prior to the pandemic in 2019, the airport served 12.6 million people, while just 2.5 million did so in 2018.
According to the Press Association, which created the rating, the decline in flights brought on the travel restrictions in 2021 improved punctuality at all UK airports compared to before the Covid issue.
The year 2022 “has been a different story completely,” according to Jo Rhodes, an analyst with the consumer publication Which? Travel, as the industry struggles to handle the surge in passenger numbers.
“Holidaymakers have faced widespread flight cancellations in addition to intolerably lengthy lines at check-in, bag drop, and airport security,” she continued.
She demanded that the Civil Aviation Authority be given more authority, including the ability to penalise airlines directly for disobeying the law.
Additionally, she stated, “Ministers should abandon their misguided proposals to cut compensation rates for canceled or delayed domestic flights.”
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, unveiled a strategy to deal with airline disruptions last month.
This includes pushing airlines to ensure that their itineraries are “deliverable,” allowing carriers to return their take-off and landing slots without incurring financial penalties, and allowing new aviation employees to start their training before clearing security checks.
The government has also held consultations on enhancing the CAA’s enforcement authority and altering the domestic flight compensation regulations.
Many flights have been canceled recently by airlines like British Airways and EasyJet due to worries that chaotic airport scenes would recur during the summer travel season.