More than two out of five (45%) consumers believe airports and airlines are prepared for summer, a new survey suggests.

Some 24% think the aviation sector is not ready for the peak travel season while 31% are unsure, the poll of 1,000 UK adults commissioned by regulator the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) indicated.

There were chaotic scenes across many airports during parts of 2022 due to a failure to recruit and train enough staff to cope with the surge in demand for holidays as coronavirus travel restrictions eased.

Despite a much improved situation in 2023, the CAA survey suggests 40% of consumers suffered some form of air travel disruption during the year, such as delays, cancellations, strikes and lost or damaged baggage.

Nearly half (46%) of respondents said they had some knowledge about their rights during flight disruption but were not completely certain about all the details.

A total of 276 million passengers travelled through UK airports last year, an increase of 23% on 2022.

CAA chief executive Rob Bishton visited Stansted Airport in Essex to discuss how the industry is attempting to keep disruption to a minimum.

He said: “As part of our mission to protect people and enable aerospace, we continue to engage with airports and airlines to see how they are preparing ahead of busy periods, and it is positive to see that their efforts are resonating with consumers.

“Passenger numbers are continuing to return to pre-pandemic levels, and Stansted Airport’s improvements to both capacity and service are an example of how the aviation industry is increasing resilience in the face of the resurgence of travel.”

Ken O’Toole, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which owns Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands Airports, said: “MAG is committed to working with partners across government and the aviation industry to deliver better outcomes for the passengers, communities and regions we serve.

“It was a pleasure to meet with Rob and outline our ambitious plans for (our airports) and the role they will play in providing easy, accessible and affordable air travel for people up and down the country in the years ahead.”

– The survey was carried out by research company Savanta earlier this month.