On time Performance

When you travel as much as many people in our Going Global community travel, on time performance for airlines and airports really matters. And so we regularly follow OAG’s on time performance data. Our Editors use it a lot to decide which carrier and which routes should be less likely to suffer from delays.

OAG compiled this data from 58 million flight records using full-year data from 2018 to create a ranking of the best on time performance (OTP) for the world’s largest airlines and airports.

For this year Latin American airline Copa Airlines achieved the top spot with on-time performance of 89.79%. Ranked 4th in last year, the airline improved OTP by more than 3 percentage points.

Of course it is harder for larger airlines with more flights and more take off and departures from a wide variety of airports to remain punctual so we also like to look at the rankings for mega airlines.

Among the world’s largest airlines, the LATAM Airlines Group achieved the highest OTP with 85.60% of flights reported as on-time. The airline takes first place, up from its ranking of 8th place last time.

Also noteworthy is the performance improvement by Chinese airlines. Each of the three major Chinese carriers has seen a positive improvement in OTP after a collective focus by the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority (CAAC) on improving OTP: China Southern has moved from 64.19% to 71.52%; China Eastern has moved from 61.80% to 70.62%; and Air China has improved from 60.14% to 68.84%.

And while we’re looking at on time performance for airlines, it’s important to also consider the airports they serve and how airport efficiency impacts their performance. Again, large or mega airports face more challenges than smaller, quieter ones.

Average on-time performance in 2018 among the world’s biggest airports is 77.1%, meaning this percentage of arriving and departing flights operated within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival and departure times. Average data coverage for these 20 airports was 94.3%.

Seven of the Top 20 airports in this category are in North America, with a further six in Asia Pacific. Six of Europe’s biggest airports also make it into the Top 20 in this category.

Although OTP at Tokyo Haneda has fallen slightly, the airport retains its place at the top of the mega airport rankings.

On time performance is definitely something you should consider when booking flights.