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Uh-oh, the world’s least punctual flight is late again

March 28, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59How much does on-time departure matter? On time arrival is probably more important to most air travellers, and even then it depends on whether the travel is for business or pleasure.

The identity of the world’s least punctually departing flight, the route and the airline, has finally been disclosed. Researchers may have spent a long time finding out but according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, the world’s most unpunctual flight is operated by a Hungarian low-cost carrier headquartered in Budapest.

The winner (if that’s the right term) is Wizz Air. Specificially, it is flight Wizz Air W62206 from London’s Luton Airport to Budapest. The flight has not left on time once since 1 June 2013, according to the Telegraph. TravelManagers

Delays vary widely, having ranged from two minutes to 12 hours and 18 minutes since last year, the newspaper reported.

Wizz Air flies from London’s Luton to more than 20 cities in Eastern Europe.

Data showing the chronically-delayed flight was the world’s least punctual were compiled, according to The Telegraph, by EUclaim, a site that helps passengers find out of they’re entitled to compensation for delayed or cancelled flights. Flight W62206 notched up a total of 293 late departures consecutively and up to 176 hours of waiting time for passengers on their way to Budapest.

Wizz Air, however, disputes the report.

In a statement posted on its web site, the airline says:

“The Wizz Air route from London Luton to Budapest was launched in June 2004 and is currently served with up to four flights per day. Flight W62206 was not launched on 1 June 2013 but in 1 April 2011.

“Industry standards, applied by the CAA [Civil Aviation Authority] define all flights departing within 15 mins of the scheduled departure time as on time while bounty hunters such as EU Claims mislead consumers by hiding this fact.

“Even in the few cases where a flight takes of 15 minutes later than scheduled, consumers are mainly interested in arriving on time. 73.22% of all 295 W62206 flights from London Luton to Budapest from 1 June 2013 to date departed on time, with 78,64% arriving on time in Budapest.

“Wizz Air operates 28 routes from London Luton and its punctuality of 88% on all Luton flights in November 2013 compares to 87% punctuality of all airlines at the same airport.”

Phew! That’s a relief. Just for comparison, in December 2013, Qantas achieved the highest level of on-time departures of any major Australian domestic airline, at 85.3%. It was followed by Virgin Australia at 84.3%, Tigerair at 80.4% and Jetstar at 76.1%.  The regional airlines were led in December 2013 by Regional Express at 91.6%, followed by Virgin Australia Regional Airlines at 88.3% and QantasLink at 81.9%.

Written by : Peter Needham

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