Support our Nation today - please donate here

Airline that flies out of Cardiff airport ‘worst in the UK’ for delays

29 Aug 2022 4 minute read
Passengers getting on a Wizz Air plane. Photo Steve Parsons PA Images

An investigation has found that an airline that flies out of Cardiff airport is the worst in the UK for flight delays.

Wizz Air offers flights to Milan and Bucharest from Cardiff, but announced earlier this month that it would cut back on winter flights to nine other destinations because it was not “commercially viable”.

The Hungarian carrier’s UK departures were an average of 14 minutes and 24 seconds behind schedule in 2021, according to analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data by the PA news agency. Wizz Air was approached for a comment.

Earlier this month managing director said that the flights to Alicante, Corfu, Heraklion, Faro, Larnaca, Lanzarote, Palma de Mallorca, Sharm el-Sheikh and Tenerife were being paused until next spring.

The company set up a new base at Cardiff Airport in December 2020, creating 40 new jobs, with the aim of increasing the airport’s yearly seat capacity by 350,000.

However, it reported growing losses of £381 million in the first quarter of this year, which it said was down to the effect of fuel costs and recent airport disruption.

“It takes time to build up sustainable operations at any base and we are prepared to build up operations at Cardiff over the long term,” Managing director of Wizz Air UK Marion Geoffrey said at the time.

The Welsh Conservatives at the time slammed as “incredibly disappointing” the news that Wizz Air was to reduce its flights to Cardiff Airport.


Tui Airways recorded the second worst punctuality, with an average delay of 13 minutes and 18 seconds.

This was followed by British Airways (12 minutes and 42 seconds) – including its subsidiary BA CityFlyer – Virgin Atlantic (12 minutes) and Loganair (11 minutes and 30 seconds).

The two most used airlines by UK passengers, easyJet and Ryanair, were among the leading performers in terms of punctuality.

EasyJet had the second shortest average delay per flight of four minutes and 36 seconds, while Ryanair was in third place with six minutes and six seconds.

Only Ireland’s flag carrier Aer Lingus performed better, with a typical delay of just three minutes and 12 seconds.

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 was eight and a half minutes per flight.

Analysis by PA conducted earlier this summer found that Birmingham was the UK’s worst airport for flight delays last year.

Punctuality across the aviation industry in 2021 was better than before the coronavirus pandemic due to the reduction in flights caused by travel restrictions.

But the situation has deteriorated this year, with staff shortages causing major problems for several airports and airlines, leading to tens of thousands of flights being cancelled.

Guy Hobbs, editor of consumer magazine Which? Travel, said: “While these findings are worrying, the reality has actually been far worse for many travellers this summer.

“Holidaymakers have faced a barrage of disruption over the last few months, and these latest figures only serve to underline the need for urgent reform of the travel industry.

“The Government must drop plans to slash passenger compensation for delayed and cancelled domestic flights.”


Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “Worsening flight delays have caused enormous stress to many consumers over the last year, as well as financial pain while waiting for refunds and compensation.

“Airlines, airports and air traffic control teams need to work together far more closely and ensure that flying becomes more seamless and more enjoyable for us all.

“That will only happen when staff shortages are properly overcome and the aviation industry can grow again post-pandemic.”

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.