The airlines with the worst flight delays from UK airports have been revealed, according to a new investigation. 

Wizz Air was named as the worst airline for flight delays in 2021 with the Hungarian carrier's UK departures being an average of 14 minutes and 24 seconds behind schedule.

The PA news agency investigation, which was conducted from an analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data, comes after research that ranked the worst UK airports for delays in July. 

Here is the full breakdown of the airlines with the worst delays last year and on average how long Brits were left waiting to jet off. 

The Northern Echo: A person holding a carry on bag and boarding pass. Credit: CanvaA person holding a carry on bag and boarding pass. Credit: Canva

Worst airlines for flight delays from UK airports

Wizzair, which reported an average delay of just over 14 minutes, operates short-haul flights from 10 UK airports like Belfast International, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Gatwick and Luton.

The Hungarian airline was closely followed by Tui Airways which had an average delay of 13 minutes and 18 seconds.

British Airways, which has recently scrapped thousands of flights from its winter schedule, came in at third worst with 12 minutes and 42 seconds – including its subsidiary BA CityFlyer.

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Rounding up the worst five were Virgin Atlantic with 12 minutes and Loganair with 11 minutes and 30 seconds.

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

The Northern Echo: British Airways planes. Credit: PABritish Airways planes. Credit: PA

Here is how 14 major airlines ranked when it comes to their delays from UK airports.

1. Wizz Air: 14 minutes and 24 seconds

2. Tui Airways: 13 minutes and 18 seconds

3. British Airways: 12 minutes and 42 seconds

4. Virgin Atlantic: 12 minutes

5. Loganair: 11 minutes and 30 seconds

6. Air France: 11 minutes and 12 seconds

7. Lufthansa: 10 minutes

8. KLM: Eight minutes and 42 seconds

9. Eastern Airways: Seven minutes and 48 seconds

10. Seven minutes and 42 seconds

11. American Airlines: Seven minutes

12. Ryanair: Six minutes and six seconds

13. EasyJet: Four minutes and 36 seconds

14. Aer Lingus: Three minutes and 12 seconds

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

PA's study analysed all the scheduled and chartered departures from UK airports by airlines with more than 2,500 flights.

The Northern Echo: easyJet plane taking off. Credit: PAeasyJet plane taking off. Credit: PA

The research does not include cancelled flights and on average, the delays across the airlines were eight and a half minutes per flight.

Overall, punctuality across all UK airports last year was better than before the pandemic, due to the introduction of Covid travel restrictions leading to a drop in flights.

However, as many travellers know first-hand, staff shortages have caused major problems for several airports and airlines throughout 2022 and have led to tens of thousands of flights being cancelled.

READ MORE: TUI, easyJet, Ryanair, Virgin, Emirates: cancellation policy of airlines

READ MORE: What to do if your flight is delayed by 1, 3, 6 or 12 hours?

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 Northern Echo: Wizzair plane. Credit: PAWizzair plane. Credit: PA

“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.”

Wizz Air was approached by PA News Agency for comment.