Eighty five percent of charter flights from Newcastle Airport arrive early or on time, according to figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The result is a good 17% higher than the national average.
Officials were overjoyed with the news, hailing it as a significant improvement over the previous year.
The CAA defines an on-time flight as "early to fifteen minutes late" – an odd definition, but one that few officials would argue with. The study recorded a minimum of 80% punctuality at all ten monitored airports.
Dave Laws, chief executive at Newcastle, was full of praise for his staff, "this is excellent news for the airport. It is testament to the considerable efforts of colleagues that we are continuing to outperform our competitors."
The CAA has rejected claims that airline punctuality is commensurate with the volume of passengers travelling through an airport, a figure that has dropped significantly over the past few months. Aircraft movements are at their lowest since September 2003.
Despite a hectic bank holiday weekend, with airports besieged by holidaymakers and blighted by ongoing industrial action, few delays were reported at major airports. The CAA’s survey gives credit to the officials and staff members that helped get tourists in the air.
Overall, UK airports increased timely flights to 82%, the highest level in fourteen years.
The CAA made special mention of Heathrow and London City airports, after the pair achieved the biggest improvement in aircraft punctuality, reducing delays and boosting on-time performance by an average of 15%.