Wizz Air was the worst major airline for flight delays from UK airports for the second year in a row, new figures show.
The Hungarian carrier’s UK departures were an average of 46 minutes and six seconds behind schedule in 2022.
It is based on analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data by the PA news agency.
That was more than three times longer than the previous year, when it was also ranked last for punctuality.
Wizz Air operates short-haul flights from UK airports including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Gatwick, Luton, Liverpool and Bristol.
The analysis took into account all scheduled and chartered departures from UK airports by airlines with more than 2,500 flights.
Cancelled flights were not included.
The average delay for all these flights was 23 minutes.
After Wizz Air, Tui ranked second with an average delay of 40 minutes and 18 seconds, and Qatar Airways third with 31 minutes and 48 seconds.
Norwegian Air Shuttle recorded the best performance with an average delay of just 13 minutes and 42 seconds.
Wizz Air – 46 minutes and six seconds
Tui – 40 minutes and 18 seconds.
Qatar Airways – 31 minutes and 48 seconds
Turkish Airlines – 29 minutes and 30 seconds
Pegasus Airlines – 27 minutes and 18 seconds
May and June were the worst months for punctuality as the aviation sector failed to recruit and train enough staff to cope with a surge in demand for holidays following the ending of the UK’s Covid-19 travel rules.
Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “These figures are worrying, but will be no surprise to passengers who’ve had to endure shoddy treatment from airlines for years.”
The CAA has civil powers to take enforcement action against airlines, but court cases typically take several years to be concluded.
Government proposals to give the regulator more powers were consulted on in early 2022, but no changes have been made.
CAA consumer director Paul Smith claimed “too many passengers faced disappointing levels of delays” last year.
“The CAA has regularly asked for stronger consumer enforcement powers, including the ability to impose fines on airlines,” he said.
“When things do go wrong, we expect airlines to proactively provide passengers with information about their rights when flights are disrupted, as well as offer timely support and assistance.
“We’ve already raised concerns about Wizz Air and are working closely with the airline to improve outcomes for consumers.”
In February the airline ended its service in and out of Wales, citing running costs and the current economic climate.
Last year it faced a backlash from pilot unions after chief executive Jozsef Varadi said staff should go “the extra mile” when tired so that the airline could avoid cancelling flights.
Wizz Air did not respond to a request for comment by the PA news agency.