According to new data from the UK Civil Aviation Authority, fewer flights were canceled, and more flights arrived on time at UK airports between January and March 2023.
A total of 6,400 flights were canceled in the first three months of the year, down from 7,300 in the previous three months.
Factors including seasonal poor weather and industrial action by French Air Traffic Controllers impacted travel during the quarter, causing flight delays and cancelations.
Some 71.3 percent of 409,000 UK flights were also deemed to have operated on time (within 15 mins of scheduled), which also improved from the previous period, though remained below 2019 levels.
The average time delay improved from the last period showing signs that resilience is progressing to ensure passengers have positive experiences while traveling.
As passenger numbers continue to increase and move closer to 2019 levels, the UK Civil Aviation Authority hopes to see a continuation of stronger resilience from airlines and airports to improve passenger experience and avoid delays and cancellations.
Royal Jordanian topped the rankings for on-time performance among airlines that had at least a daily service in the first quarter of 2023 (minimum of 180 movements), with 90 percent of flights on time, followed by Fly Play (88 percent) and KLM Cityhopper (85 percent).
Srilankan Airlines, Egypt Air and Kenya Airways recorded the lowest on-time performance at 39 percent, 40 percent and 45 percent, respectively.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority data also shows air freight continued to see a return to the pre-pandemic trend of the majority of freight being carried in the belly hold of passenger aircraft, rather than dedicated cargo only services.
Compared to Q1 2022, Q1 2023 saw a 53 percent fall in cargo carried on dedicated freighter services – down to 204,000 tons. Cargo carried on passenger aircraft more than doubled to 330,000 tons. Overall, nearly 534,000 tons of cargo were carried.