Liverpool Airport: figures reveal how reliable LJLA is compared to rivals amid flight cancellations and delays

Liverpool John Lennon Airport had hundreds of flight delays during a key period but still fared better than most airports across the country.

New figures have revealed which UK airports have been hit hardest by travel disruption during one of the busiest times of the year.

The data for April and the Easter break - when holidaymakers faced mass delays and cancellations - shows flight punctuality fell to its lowest levels so far this year at the vast majority of large UK airports.

However, the analysis from the Civil Aviation Authority shows, Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) fared better than most across the country.

In April 2022, 2328 planes departed the airport, and 1724 (74%) of those were said to be on time. Just 0.9% of flights from the airport were cancelled during April, with 22 flights failing to take off.

Cancelled flights are defined as those which are called off within 24 hours of the scheduled departure time.

Exactly 582 flights from Liverpool Airport were reported as delayed, faring far better than the likes of Heathrow, which saw nearly 10,000 flights delayed.

Compared to airports that deal with a similar number of scheduled flights, LJLA also came out well. Newcastle and Aberdeen had 71.4% and 67% of flights on time respectively.

Aberdeen had 2.7% of flights delayed and Newcastle had 0.6% compared to Liverpool’s 0.9%.

Southampton Airport fared worst for cancellations in April, with 4% of flights called off.

Birmingham Airport faced the worst disruption, with 40% of its flights delayed in April.

Officials count a flight as delayed if it is more than 15 minutes late.

On June 21, the Government set out plans to prevent last-minute flight cancellations during the summer peak.

The regulations will allow a one-off ‘amnesty’ on airport slot rules, allowing airlines to deliver a more realistic summer schedule based on their staffing levels. The Department for Transport said this was being provided as an exceptional measure while the aviation industry recruits the necessary workers.

Flight slots are used to manage capacity at the busiest airports, giving airlines permission to use the runway, terminal and gates at an airport on a specific date and time.

Airlines must use slots a certain amount of times each season to keep them. However, many parts of the sector have been unable to recruit enough staff in time to fly the number of flights they have planned for, leading to flights being cancelled at short notice.

Subject to approval by Parliament, the Government will now give airlines a short window to temporarily hand back slots for the rest of the summer season that they are not confident they will be able to operate. Ministers said this would help passengers find alternative arrangements ahead of time rather than face the kind of last-minute cancellations seen over the Easter and half-term holidays.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts said: “This is a hugely challenging time for our recovering aviation industry, but we cannot have a situation where passengers arrive at the airport just to have their flight cancelled or face long delays.”

Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Providing passengers with certainty this summer is vital, and this intervention will help to relieve the pressures we see being experienced by the aviation industry and its customers. Short-term measures are welcomed, but a continued focus on the unplanned and inevitable operational challenges is crucial for consumer confidence this summer.”