Expert insights

Which are the most punctual air and rail operators?

12 September 2017

Punctual transport is the backbone of business travel - we reveal the train and plane services that are most reliable.

Punctual transport is the backbone of business travel – so how do our top air travel carriers and rail operators compare when it comes to delay times?

Using data from the Civil Aviation Authority for last two summers, the BBC recently revealed typical delay times on the UK’s 10 busiest airlines.

Of those 10 airlines, Aer Lingus came out on top, with an average delay time of only 12 minutes. It was closely followed by FlyBe and BA CityFlyer, both of which kept customers waiting for less than quarter of an hour on average.

EasyJet had the longest delay times, with an average wait of 24 minutes when flying to and from the UK, followed by Thomas Cook and British Airways.

Which airports are the most punctual?

So how are individual UK airports performing? Perhaps not surprisingly, it was the smaller, less busy airports that tended to run on time. Leeds Bradford Airport had the most punctual transport times, with an average wait of 10 minutes.

Gatwick Airport handles the greatest number of daily European flights, and also reported the longest average delay per outbound flight, of 27 minutes.

However, considering the increasingly congested London airspace, and record numbers of European air traffic control strikes over the last year, it’s perhaps surprising that the delay stats are not even higher. And as our analysis has shown, it remains one of the best value options for business bookers among the London airports.

What about train punctuality times?

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) recently announced that it can now measure train punctuality to the nearest minute. Good news for industry watchers and travellers, and bad news for the least punctual services revealed in their latest stats.

Performance statistics gathered by the ORR over the last year showed that c2c, which runs trains within London, Southend and Essex, had the most punctual transport services, with 80.6% of its trains arriving on time.

Meanwhile Hull Trains saw the worst delays, with 42.6% of their services arriving late.

In terms of cancellations, Govia Thameslink Railway had the highest number of train services axed, at almost 6%. However, Hull Trains wasn’t far behind, at 3%.

If your next business trip is with Merseyrail, Chiltern Railways or East Midlands, you can probably relax, though; only 1.1%, 1.2% and 1.3% of their services were cancelled respectively.

If your flight or train is delayed

Capita Travel and Events customers can keep an eye on all their flight and rail bookings, and receive updates on any delays, with the handy iris:go app.

All travellers can sign up for our regular email travel communications for relevant, up-to-the-minute info, including any potential incidents or strikes that could disrupt their journeys.

We can also help reroute travellers or rebook travel if journeys are cancelled or delayed.

Interested? Let’s have a chat about your company’s travel, meetings and events objectives - from the stuff that keeps you awake at night, to the everyday experiences of your employees! Call us on 0330 390 0340, or submit your details below.