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Flight delays up at major airports

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Passengers faced longer waits for flights at UK's major airports this spring compared with the same time last year, according to a report from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The importance of travel insurance was highlighted once again by figures that showed only 78% of scheduled flights were on time during the April-June period this year - down from 82% in spring 2009.

Among charter flights, punctuality dropped from 74% last year to 66% in spring 2010.

For scheduled flights, average delays rose from 21 minutes to 28 minutes, while for charter flights it was up from 10 minutes to 14 minutes.

The Icelandic volcanic ash cloud, which badly hit air travel in April, had "relatively little impact" on flight punctuality since it mostly led to cancellations and not delays, the CAA said.

The latest report is based on arrival and departure figures at 10 UK airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Luton, Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London City.

The CAA added that strikes and the ash crisis meant there were 9% fewer scheduled flights and 11% fewer charter flights at the 10 monitored airports in spring 2010 compared with the same period last year.

© Press Association 2010