Edinburgh Airport flights Scotland’s most punctual

Sir Richard Branson. Picture: Julie Bull

Sir Richard Branson. Picture: Julie Bull

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FLIGHTS out of Edinburgh Airport were Scotland’s most punctual last year, according to newly-published statistics.

Figures released by flightontime.info show that the airport was also the third most punctual in the UK, behind smaller airports such as London City and Birmingham.

The average delay, based on a study of 97,000 flights, was 9.16 minutes in 2013 – a 14-minute improvement on the previous year.

Scotland’s busiest airport enjoyed a bumper year, with record-breaking passenger numbers and several high-profile route announcements.

David Wilson, chief operating officer at Edinburgh Airport, said: “We’re delighted with these new figures which show Edinburgh Airport as the third most punctual airport in the UK, and the largest airport in the top three.

“Last year was a phenomenal year for our airport.

“Our collaboration with our business partners and continued focus on customer service has ensured we were the most punctual airport in Scotland and show we are striving to maintain and improve our standards during a period of rapid change for Edinburgh Airport.”

Virgin Atlantic flights on Scotland’s busiest air route between Edinburgh and Heathrow were twice as punctual as rival British Airways last year, new figures showed.

The news will provide some cheer to Sir Richard Branson’s airline, which has appeared to have all the cards stacked against it since going into battle with BA on the route a year ago.

Passengers on Virgin’s “Little Red” flights were delayed by an average of 5.7 minutes compared to 13.8 minutes for BA passengers to the notoriously-congested main London airport.

The growing route is used by 1.3 million people a year.

Virgin is also now Edinburgh’s most punctual, since the only two carriers with shorter delays last year, Minoan Air and BMI Regional, have since scrapped their routes to the airport.

Glasgow was fifth, after Stansted, with 10.3 minutes.

Virgin has had an uphill battle against its former bitter adversary since effectively replacing BMI on the Edinburgh-Heathrow route after the airline merged with BA.

It has far less frequent flights from Edinburgh than BA and a much smaller route network at Heathrow for transfer passengers.

Sir Richard dangled the carrot of further investment in Little Red this week as he called for a third runway at Heathrow airport.

He said it would not expand services until it was built.