LONDON (Reuters) - EasyJet and Gatwick were named Britain's tardiest airline and airport respectively last summer and the year before on Friday, with more data showing easyJet's punctuality has dropped this season as well.
EasyJet's customers had been on average delayed 24 minutes, the longest average delay among airlines travelling to and from Britain during those two summers, according to a BBC analysis of figures from the Civil Aviation Authority.
London Gatwick, where easyJet has a base, was the worst British airport for delays in summer 2015 and 2016, the BBC said in its study, but added that past performance would not necessarily be repeated during this and future summers.
Last month, across its network easyJet had an on-time percentage of 63.6 percent in July, down from 70.8 percent in June and 76.2 percent in May, according to OAG flightview, which counts flights as on-time when they depart or arrive within 15 minutes of schedule.
EasyJet said on Friday that just 0.8 percent of flights suffered the most serious delays of over three hours this year.
"In fact, despite a number of adverse external factors like increasingly congested airspace, particularly in the London area, and record numbers of air traffic control strikes, over the last year easyJet has actually reduced the proportion of flights delayed by more than 3 hours," it said in a statement.
EasyJet has been investing in making its operations less prone to delays after the delays of previous summers, when it was also hit more than rivals by air traffic control strikes in France.
A spokesman for Gatwick said it had implemented a wide range of measures to improve punctuality. The study said that passengers there had an average delay of 27 minutes.
"We operate the world’s busiest and most efficient single runway airport but, over recent years, Gatwick has been disproportionately affected by issues beyond our control," the spokesman said.
"These include repeated strike action by French, Greek, Spanish and Italian air traffic controllers and airport employees, prolonged bad weather, and heavily congested airspace above parts of Europe and London."
Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Alistair Smout; editing by Susan Thomas