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Qantas and Virgin Oz duel in international on-time stakes

January 25, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Virgin Australia has stolen a lead over its rival  Qantas in the industry’s most comprehensive punctuality analysis, which recognises Japan Airlines (JAL) as the Asia-Pacific’s most on-time mainline airline for the seventh year running, salutes Virgin Australia as the region’s fifth most on-time carrier and puts Qantas in sixth place.

Domestically, Australia is struggling on the punctuality front. See: Weather, fuel and sickness spark plague of flight delays

Globally, Delta Air Lines is the most on-time mainline airline, and Qatar Airways has been named the world’s best on-time airline network.

FlightGlobal’s annual On-Time Performance Service (OPS) Awards ranks airlines based on more than 120,000 flights per day and 600 global sources.

This marks the seventh year in row that JAL has claimed the top spot regionally, with 84.73% of its flights on time. In second place was its big Japanese rival, ANA (84.20%), followed by Singapore Airlines (83.52%), Indigo (81.10%), Air Asia (80.97%), Virgin Australia (79.49%), Qantas (78.05%), Jet Airways (76.47%), spiceJet (73.54%) and Korean Air (73.22%).

ANA is named as the Asia-Pacific’s most on-time global airline network, with 85.25% of its flights on time. The OPS Awards define an airline network as a system of flights flown by a major airline, but also include the flights that are marketed by the carrier and are operated by its airline partners. In that category, ANA is followed extremely closely by JAL (85.21%) in second place, with Singapore Airlines (83.52%) in third.

In global rankings, Delta Air Lines is the most on-time mainline airline, with 86.09% of its flights on time – an improvement of 0.19 percentage points on 2017. In second place was Qatar Airways (85.88%) and following closely in third was KLM (85.04%). Qatar Airways is also named as the world’s most on-time global airline network, with 85.88% of its flights on time. KLM (85.59%) and ANA (85.25%) came in second and third place, respectively.

Rankings fluctuate month by month. Here, out of interest, is the most recent rankings for major international carriers worldwide, for December 2018, in terms of on-time performance. Notice that Qantas is one ahead of Virgin Australia in December:

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Delta Air Lines
  3. ANA
  4. KLM
  5. Alitalia
  6. JAL
  7. Sri Lankan Airlines
  8. Singapore Airlines
  9. Emirates
  10. Iberia
  11. Turkish Airlines
  12. American Airlines
  13. Air France
  14. LATAM Airlines
  15. United Airlines
  16. Qantas
  17. Virgin Atlantic
  18. South African Airways
  19. Korean Air
  20. China Eastern Airlines

For the first time in the 10-year history of the awards, the Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) category has been jointly won – by Azul and Iberia Express. The two LCCs both recorded an average of 86.47% of flights on time in 2018.

“The passenger experience is fast becoming a key improvement area for airlines, and being on time is a critical contributor to that experience,” said Christopher Flook, chief executive of FlightGlobal.

“The airlines topping the rankings should be immensely proud of this accolade for enabling the millions of passengers that fly with them each year to arrive at their destinations on time.”

“Airlines in Asia face a host of external challenges in terms of disruptions. Though these disruptors can’t be controlled, they can be managed by prudent planning and operations,” said Rahul Oberai, FlightGlobal’s vice president sales in APAC.

“APAC carriers have shown a marked improvement in their timeliness, which is critical for their brand reputation.”

The OPS Awards rankings are determined from the analysis of more than 120,000 operated flights per day, along with real-time flight status, departure and arrival data curated from over 600 global sources. The awards have the most stringent and consistent criteria, with flight status coverage on at least 90% of scheduled flights.

For more information and results, see here.

Written by Peter Needham

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