Scale of passenger delays at Birmingham Airport unveiled

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Latest Civil Aviation Authority data has unveiled that tens of thousands of departures from Birmingham Airport faced delays

The average flight from Birmingham Airport was delayed by more than 20 minutes last year, new figures show.

RADAR analysis of latest Civil Aviation Authority data shows there were 38,991 departures from Birmingham Airport in 2023, which were delayed on average by 21 minutes and 29 seconds.

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It means passengers departing from Birmingham Airport suffered among the longest waits from any of the UK's 22 commercial airports with at least 1,000 outbound flights last year.

Nationally, the average delay for flights was 20 minutes and 43 seconds. This was down from 23 minutes and 12 seconds in 2022, when the aviation sector struggled to cope with a surge in demand for holidays following the end of coronavirus travel restrictions.

Naomi Leach, deputy editor of consumer magazine Which? Travel, said: "It’s clear from these latest figures that millions of passengers continued to experience unacceptably long hold-ups last year. This cannot be allowed to become the new normal."

CAA director Tim Johnson said it is vital the aviation sector "focuses on resilience" ahead of the summer holiday period to "keep passenger disruption to a minimum". He added: "Where people do find themselves facing disruption, we want them to be well-informed about the duty of care that they are entitled to."

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Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership, a network of independent travel agents, said flight disruption is "always incredibly frustrating". She continued: "Any delay can have significant knock-on effects on both leisure and business travellers.

"With millions of Brits set to travel abroad this summer, it’s vital for the UK’s airports alongside all parts of the travel eco-system to continually work together to ensure the system is as efficient as it can be."

Across the UK, 14,900 flights were cancelled – this included 485 from Birmingham Airport, equivalent to 1% of the total departures. A spokesperson for the Airport Operators Association trade body said: "Airports work extremely hard to minimise delays while providing a positive, safe and secure experience for passengers. These figures do not provide any of the context around operating in a global environment and do not give the travelling public a clear picture of how air travel operates."

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