Flight punctuality has improved across UK airports, according to new data released today. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has revealed that 82% of flights left early, on-time or within 15 minutes late during January and March this year, 8% higher than last year. The average delay length was shortened from 17 minutes to 10, which is a first since 1995. However last year’s January-March period was affected by severe weather, which caused a higher level of disruption. CAA said it was pleased about the recent figures but said performance will improve in the future. “We welcome this quarter’s punctuality performance. However, the CAA believes that future improvements in performance through enhanced airport resilience and airspace efficiency are possible,” said Iain Osborne, group director for regulatory policy at the CAA. “Together with the UK aviation industry, we are currently engaged in work programmes such as the South East Airports Task Force and the Future Airspace Strategy which, in time, should bring better outcomes to consumers.” The news comes after statistics from NATS showed that new airline routes from the UK have increased 7.2% during 2011 to date, compared to last year. According to new figures, 856, 722 flights have operated this year so far, with a 6.1% increase during May. This inflated figure is up from an underlying growth of 2.4% following ash cloud disruption in both periods. London’s airports have seen the largest increase this year by 8.10%, followed by a 6.6% rise in Scotland and 4.5% increase in the Manchester area.