Wizz Air?
Airline: flight is not always late
Wizz Air?

 Budget carrier Wizz Air has rubbished claims that its flight from Luton to Budapest has never left on time and is one of the most often delayed in the UK.

Flight compensation firm Bott & Co said Flight W62206 had been late every day since its launch, which it claimed was on June 1 last year.

The firm claimed that passengers on the A320 flight from Luton had endured 293 consecutive days of late departures, with delays ranging from two minutes to 12 hours and 18 minutes.

However, Wizz Air insisted today that the flight - which it said actually launched in 2011 - suffered no longer delays than any other route operated by any other airline.

Its spokesman said 47% of its London to Budapest flights from June last year had left at the scheduled departure time and a further 26% left within 15 minutes of the departure time.

As a result, it said 79% of the flights landed in Budapest on time. According to internationally-recognised guidelines, a flight is only late if it is delayed by more than 15 minutes.

Of the Wizz Air London to Budapest flight that were delayed more than 15 minutes, only 5% were delayed more than two hours, said the airline's spokesman.

The Civil Aviation Authority's own records show that in December 2013 (the most recently published statistics), 59% of Wizz Air's flights to Budapest left Luton on time, and the average delay on the route was 33 minutes.

Wizz Air claimed Bott & Co, which helps passengers to claim compensation from airlines for flight delays and cancellations, had used incorrect statistics to determine the departure time its flights.

Instead of using the time the aircraft pushed back from the stand, Wizz Air's spokesman Daniel de Carvalho claimed Bott had used its take-off time.

"It appears that the media is being deliberately misled," he said. "Industry standard is to count a flight as departed when it departs the gate as the journey time begins counting from then onwards.

"Bounty hunters apparently prefer to count the journey time from the moment the aircraft becomes airborne."

Under EU rules, passengers are entitled to compensation for cancellations or delays of three hours or more on short-haul flights.

Bott & Co said passengers on nine of Wizz Air's late-running flights to Budapest were entitled to compensation. It is already representing 15 passengers who were on delayed flights in June, July, October and November.

The company said its attention was drawn to Flight W62206 because of the number of claims it had received for passengers flying on different dates.

It said it took its data from its partner website EUclaim, which sourced the flight delay information directly from Luton Airport.

CAA statistics for Luton Airport show that of the four largest airlines, Monarch suffered the worst delays last year, with only 69% of flights on time and an average delay of 15 minutes.

In comparison, 77% of Wizz Air's flights were on time (though not necessarily those on the Budapest route) and the airline's average delay was 12.6 minutes.

Ryanair had an average delay of nine minutes and 85% of its flights were on time, but easyJet was the most punctual with 86% leaving on time and delays of only eight minutes.

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