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Obscure airline beats everyone on punctuality

January 16, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Qantas came fifth in this year’s world punctuality league, as assessed by OAG, the global authority on airline and airport data – and the winner was an airline that even travel agents may not be familiar with.

OAG’s 10 most punctual “mainline” airlines in the world (meaning reasonably major), each with the percentage of flights that arrive within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time, are as follows:

  1. airBaltic – 90.01%
  2. Hong Kong Airlines – 88.83%
  3. Hawaiian Airlines – 87.24%
  4. Copa Airlines – 86.39%
  5. Qantas Airways – 86.18%
  6. Japan Airlines – 85.27%
  7. Aer Lingus  – 84.46%
  8. Singapore Airlines  – 84.07%
  9. All Nippon Airways  – 83.81%
  10. Qatar Airways  – 82.95%

The winner, airBaltic, is not exactly a household name – well, certainly not in Australasia. That’s perhaps because it’s based in Latvia. Australians will be more familiar with the others, including Hawaiian, which came third.

Copa Airlines, which came fourth, is the flag carrier of Panama.

As for airBaltic, it’s a state-owned Latvian budget airline and the country’s flag carrier, with its main hub at Riga International Airport with further bases at Tallinn Airport and Vilnius Airport. It runs a fleet of 30 B737-300s, B737-500s, Bombardier CS300s and Bombardier Q400s.

OAG notes: “The best airline in the world for OTP in 2017 is airBaltic with OTP [on-time performance] of 90.01%. Hong Kong Airlines, a new entrant to the Top 20, has moved considerably up the rankings with OTP increasing from 74.46% last year to 88.83% this year.

“Hawaiian Airlines completes the top three in 2017 with OTP of 87.24%. Due to improved coverage, OAG welcomes Qatar Airways to the Punctuality League with OTP of 82.95%, where they take 10th place.

“With improved performances, Alitalia and Air New Zealand make a return to the Top 20 this year, taking 12th and 17th place respectively.”

Some low-cost carriers are punctual too. If you throw them into the mix, the Top 10 looks a little different, though airBaltic is still top and the first six places are unchanged.

Jetstar Asia, based in Singapore and a familiar name in Australia, enters the Top 10 when low-cost carriers are included. So does Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling Airlines, a British Airways sister carrier, along with Skymark Airlines, a budget airline based in Tokyo. The list is thus:

  1. airBaltic – 90.01%
  2. Hong Kong Airlines – 88.83%
  3. Hawaiian Airlines – 87.24%
  4. Copa Airlines – 86.39%
  5. Qantas Airways – 86.18%
  6. Japan Airlines – 85.27%
  7. Vueling Airlines – 85.25%
  8. Jetstar Asia – 85.08%
  9. Skymark Airlines – 85%
  10. Aer Lingus – 84.46%

The OAG survey includes the world’s top 250 airlines ranked by annual Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs) according to OAG data.

Written by Peter Needham

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