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OAG Punctuality League 2018 Reveals Global On-time Performance Results for Airlines and Airports

January 5, 2018 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

OAG, the global leader in flight information, has released the results of the OAG Punctuality League 2018, the industry’s most comprehensive annual ranking of on-time performance (OTP) for the world’s airlines and airports. The report examines aviation data from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

Among the biggest winners was Delta Air Lines, which surpassed Alaska Airlines for second place in OTP among North American carriers. Delta Air Lines finished number three overall among the global Mega Airlines, a new category that compares the world’s top 20 operators. Hawaiian Airlines continues to dominate the OTP rankings in the U.S., finishing first among North American carriers for the fourth straight year. Overall, U.S. airlines had a strong showing in the Mega Airlines category, finishing with five carriers in the top 10: Delta Air Lines (3), Alaskan Airlines (5), United Airlines (7), American Airlines (9) and Southwest (10).

While North American carriers performed admirably against their global peers, several airlines – including Hawaiian, Delta, Alaska, United, WestJet and Southwest – all saw a small dip in on-time performance in 2017. In fact, this year’s top performers – Hawaiian and Delta – saw year-over-year OTP decreases of 2.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. American Airlines was the only major U.S. carrier to improve OTP from 2016 to 2017, increasing its performance by .53 percent. Among all carriers in the U.S., United Airlines (79.8 percent) finished fourth, topping American Airlines (78.9 percent) by less than one percent in 2017. The three largest carriers in the U.S. all ranked among the top 10 in North America, a remarkable achievement given the frequency of flights.

U.S. airports continued to lead the way globally, with at least one airport finishing in the top five of the Large, Major and Mega Airport categories. Minneapolis International Airport (MSP) finished in first place in the Major Airports category globally with an OTP of 85.7 percent. The new Mega Airport category featured many U.S. airports including Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL; 3rdwith an OTP of 82.3 percent), Denver (DEN; 4th with an OTP of 82.2 percent), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW; 5th with an OTP of 81.3 percent) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD; 7th with an OTP of 79.8 percent). The U.S. finished with seven airports in the top 20 Mega Airport category.

“Flight delays and cancellations have historically been one of the most stressful aspects of travel,” said Mike Benjamin, COO of OAG. “That’s slowly changing as more airports and airlines prioritize on-time performance. In 2017, we saw the investments in punctuality pay-off: The U.S. performed exceptionally well against its global counterparts, with five airlines and four airports finishing in the top 10 globally in their respective Mega categories.”

Busiest Domestic and International Routes

OAG also analyzed OTP for the top 20 business international and domestic routes, based on the highest frequency of arriving and departing flights:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to San Francisco (SFO) finished as the seventh most-trafficked domestic route globally, with a frequency of 34,897 and an average OTP of 63.8. United Airlines was the route’s top performer, with an OTP of 74.8.
  • Hong Kong (HKG) to Taipei (TPE) was the most-heavily trafficked international route in 2017, with a frequency of 29,494 and an average OTP of 70.9.
  • In the U.S., New York La Guardia (LGA) to Chicago (ORD) was the best-performing route within the Busiest Domestic Route category, with an average OTP of 73.7. United Airlines was the route’s top performer (76.9), narrowly edging out American (76.8).

The OAG Punctuality League is derived from the most comprehensive airline schedules database in the world and is the most transparent global benchmark for the world’s airlines and airports.

To qualify for inclusion in the OAG Punctuality League, the OAG schedules database must have data for at least 80 percent of all scheduled flights operated by an airline or for an airport. OAG’s definition of on-time performance (OTP) is flights that arrive or depart within 14 minutes and 59 seconds (under 15 minutes) of their scheduled arrival/departure times.

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