Home Airlines Which Airlines Have The Best On-Time Performance In The World? It Depends On Who You Ask

Which Airlines Have The Best On-Time Performance In The World? It Depends On Who You Ask

by SharonKurheg

When picking what flights we’re going to take, especially when tighter connections are involved, an airline’s history of on-time performance (OTP) comes into play. If a certain route only arrives on time 70-something percent of the time and we only have an hour between Plane A and Plane B, we may look into a different airline for Plane A that had a better chance of getting there on time.

Two major data crunching entities, OAG and Cirium, released reports regarding OTP. You would think that, with looking at the similar type of data, they would have similar results.

They don’t. Take a look…

Both Cirium and OAG (Official Aviation Guide) collect and manipulate data.

OAG: Founded in England in 1853, OAG is an air travel intelligence firm that provides flight status, aviation scheduling, planning and analytics solutions. OAG based its 2020 airline punctuality report on 57.5 million flight records from 2019 and looks at the largest 250 passenger airlines and whether their flights arrive within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

Cirium: Founded in England in 1909, Cirium develops a cloud-based platform to provide information-based analytics and decision tools for professionals and business individuals. The company bases its ranking on its monitoring of more than 100,000 flights a day and defines an on-time flight as one that arrives at the gate within 15 minutes of its scheduled time.

Mainline Airlines

Ranking Cirium On Time Arrivals OAG On Time Arrivals
1 Aeroflot 86.68% Garuda Indonesia 95.01%
2 ANA 86.26% Copa Airlines 92.01%
3 Delta Air Lines 85.69% Hawaiian Airlines 87.40%
4 Azul 83.53% LATAM Airlines 86.41%
5 JAL 82.82% Aeroflot 86.30%
6 Alitalia 81.87% ANA 85.92%
7 Air France 81.15% Singapore Airlines 85.32%
8 Emirates 81.02% Iberia 84.06%
9 Korean Air 80.30% Siberian Airlines 83.88%
10 SAS 79.90% Air Baltic 83.63%

That’s quite a difference for 2 companies that were apparently looking at the same thing 😉

Delta, which was the only U.S.-based airline to make the Top 10 for Cirium’s list of mainline airlines, ranked as #11 (83.56%, which is 2.13 points lower than Cirium’s report) on OAG’s list.

North American Airlines

Ranking Cirium On Time Arrivals OAG On Time Arrivals
1 Delta Air Lines 85.69% Hawaiian Airlines 87.40%
2 Alaska Airlines 82.01% Delta Air Lines 83.56%
3 Southwest Airlines 81.44% Alaska Airlines 81.49%
4 Spirit Airlines 81.19% Spirit Airlines 79.42%
5 American Airlines 79.89% Southwest 79.40%
6 Allegiant Air 79.48% Westjet 78.98%
7 United Airlines 79.30% Allegiant Air 78.97%
8 WestJet 76.48% American Airlines 77.90%
9 JetBlue 74.80% United Airlines 76.28%
10 Frontier Airlines 74.44% JetBlue 73.81%

What’s funny is that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ranked list of on-time arrivals for North American-based airlines is different from both Cirium and OAG. Granted, the DOT doesn’t have an average available, just month-to-month. That may or may not be significant, all things being equal. Anyway, here are their stats for October 2019, which is the most recent list available:

Ranking U.S. DOT On Time Arrivals
1 Delta Air Lines 86.60%
2 Alaska Airlines 84.30%
3 Spirit Airlines 84.50%
4 Southwest Airlines 84.00%
5 Allegiant Air 83.40%
6 Hawaiian Airlines 83.90%
7 Jetblue Airways 80.70%
8 American Airlines 80.50%
9 United Airlines 82.00%
10 Frontier Airlines 74.50%

It just goes to show that how you manipulate the data you have makes all the difference in the world. And that, in general, Delta has the best OTP of North American carriers.

Here’s where you can find all three of the entities’ statistics, including OAG’s and Cirium’s discussions of their respective data:

Cirium

OAG

DOT

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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