With issues such as unpredictable weather and air traffic control restrictions, Manila International Airport took the top spot as the worst airport to fly out from during Christmas as more than 41% of its total flights failed to take off on time, a new report from Online Casino (OCCA) revealed.

Looking at 49 of the busiest airport hubs around the world, the ‘New World Map’ report ranked airports based on the number of flights leaving after their scheduled departure time – specifically between 21 and 25 December 2018.

Ranked second to Manila, the report said that the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai witnessed more than 13,500 flights leave its runway during the Christmas season and 38% of those experiencing a delay.

The third worst airport in the list was Frankfurt International Airport where 35% of the total 18,003 flights it witnessed during Christmas were delayed.

Following the aforementioned airports were Sao Paulo’s GRU Airport, Munich International, Kuala Lumpur International and Paris-Charles De Gaulle – all of which saw a total of 33% of flights delayed.

Among the airports in the UK, London Heathrow was ranked as the worst airport to fly from with only 70% of flights being on time, followed by London Gatwick with 71%.

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According to the report, airports in China won the top three spots in terms of punctuality. Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport was seen as the most reliable hub with 94% of flights being on time, followed by Chengdu Shuangliu and Guangzhou Baiyun Airports, both with 92%.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport was ranked as the busiest airport during Christmas with more than 36,000 flights taking off, saw almost 81% departing on time, the report said.

Highlighting some of the main reasons for delays, the report mentioned air traffic control restrictions, adverse weather conditions, bird strikes, lack of sufficient ground staff, delays in luggage assembly and connecting passengers, and strike action as the most common woes faced by airports during Christmas.

Stressing on how busy airports are during that time of the year, the report said that 467,000 flights are scheduled to take off between 21 and 25 December this year with roughly 70 million people around the world expected to travel.

Commenting on the report, OCCA editor Sophie Bearns said that figures of delayed flights at Manila Airport means that “tens of thousands of people could be delayed when travelling home for Christmas.”

“That’s over 4,700 flights delayed in December… Manila Airport often features as one of the world’s worst airports for not only delays but [long] layovers and [delayed] shuttle transfers between terminals as well.”

Bearns outlined some of the ways passengers could avoid flight delays which included “booking morning flights”.

“This avoids ripple effects of delays an afternoon or evening flight might have incurred,” she said.

She added that scheduling travel in the middle of the week might be another way to dodge delays as “air traffic tends to be less busy so, therefore, less likely to experience delays.”

Bearns said that air travellers can also “choose a smaller airport because flying into a smaller airport means less air traffic and fewer people.”