April saw flight punctuality fall to its lowest levels so far this year at the vast majority of large UK airports, analysis of data from the Civil Aviation Authority shows.
Manchester Airport saw a punctuality rate of 59 per cent while Liverpool John Lennon recorded 74.1 per cent of flights on time.
East Midlands International Airport had the best punctuality record, with 84 per cent of flights arriving or leaving on schedule.
Officials count a flight as delayed if it is more than 15 minutes late.
Aviation experts say a lack of trained and vetted staff, both within airports and on airlines, is at the root of the problems.
On Tuesday, the Government set out plans which aim to prevent last-minute flight cancellations during the summer peak.
The regulations will allow a one-off ‘amnesty’ on airport slots rules, allowing airlines to deliver a more realistic summer schedule based on their staffing levels.
The Department for Transport said this was being provided as an exceptional measure while the aviation industry recruits the necessary workers.
Subject to approval by Parliament, the Government will now give airlines a short window to temporarily hand back slots for the rest of the summer season that they are not confident they will be able to operate.
Ministers said this would help passengers find alternative arrangements ahead of time, rather than face the kind of last-minute cancellations seen over the Easter and half-term holidays.