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Sun 21 Jul 2019 06:57 PM

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How did UAE carriers perform in list of delayed flights to the UK?

Emirates airline and Etihad Airways flights to the UK were delayed by an average of 13 minutes in 2018

How did UAE carriers perform in list of delayed flights to the UK?
An Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft at Heathrow Airport.

Flights operated to the United Kingdom by Emirati airlines were delayed by an average of 13 minutes in 2018, but still ranked pretty well compared to some of their international rivals, according to ne rankings compiled by the British aviation authority.

According to data from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), on average flights operated to the UK by Dubai-based Emirates airline were delayed by 13.5 minutes last year, while those operated by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways were 13.2 minutes late.

The five worst performing airlines for delays were:

  1. Vueling Airlines (30.5 minutes)
  2. Thomas Cook Airlines (24.2 minutes)
  3. Wizz Air (22.8 minutes)
  4. Norwegian Air UK (22.2 minutes)
  5. Eurowings Luftverkehrs (21.7 minutes)

Forty-three airlines were included in the survey and the best performing were Cathay Pacific Airways (43rd with 8 minutes delayed), Delta Airlines (42nd with 9.9 minutes) and 41. KLM (41st with 10.1 minutes). Emirates was ranked 26th, while Etihad was ranked 28th.

An Emirates spokesperson declined to comment on the data.

Efficient operations

“It's not a surprise that UAE airlines fare well because of their efficient operations. Given the logistics at congested UK airports like Heathrow, that the likes of Emirates, for example, have minimal delays is down to their selection of partners on the ground who efficiently turn airplanes around on schedule and with timing tolerances,” said London-based aviation expert Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research.

“Equally, it's not a surprise that LCC's are the worst performers. Depending on whom they rely for their ground based services, timings can suffer and as a result pushbacks are delayed as often these services work for multiple airlines and thus can lead to decreased resource deployment as they try and shuffle priorities,” he added.

A spokesman for Spanish airline Vueling, which is owned by British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group and topped the list, blamed the delays on industrial action in France by airspace operators.

“There were 22 strike days at Marseille last summer. During these strikes, Vueling flights to and from Barcelona and the UK could not fly straight across France but instead flew south of the Pyrenees and into the Atlantic before looping back towards Britain. All airlines have been affected by air traffic control issues in Europe, but the location of Vueling's (Barcelona) hub close to Marseille means it has been particularly badly affected,” a spokesperson told the MailOnline.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, said the UK’s “antiquated airspace” was also a big issue. “We support the Government in its efforts to introduce much-needed modernisation so we can continue to safely and effectively accommodate the ever-rising demand for air travel,” he said.

Under European Union rules, passengers can claim compensation if their flights are more than three hours late.

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