These Are The World’s Most Punctual Airlines

These Are The World’s Most Punctual Airlines

Want to be sure that your flight will arrive on time? These rankings of airline punctuality can help you choose the right carrier for international trips.

Picture: Getty Images

FlightStats assembles a yearly ranking of global airline on-time performance. The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) issues similar monthly updates for Australian domestic airlines, but doesn’t cover international flights.

The most relevant list for Australians is for Asian-region airlines, since these are the ones you’re likely to use. Here are the top 10 for 2013:

Airline On-time departure On-time arrival
Japan Airlines 93.11% 88.94%
ANA 91.22% 87.14%
Air New Zealand 86.09% 84.18%
Korean Air Lines 90.04% 83.47%
Qantas 84.91% 83.17%
Singapore Airlines 86.81% 83.02%
Thai Airways 88.01% 79.35%
Virgin Australia 82.30% 78.93%
Jet Airways 83.79% 78.33%
Asiana Airlines 89.18% 78.14%

One other interesting statistic? Amongst “budget” airlines worldwide, Jetstar ranked seventh, with 77.13 per cent of flights departing on time, and 76.47 per cent arriving on time.

Punctuality is not an absolute; in these charts, a flight that arrives within 15 minutes of its scheduled time is considered to be “on time”. There are also occasions where bad weather will make landing on time unavoidable. Still, if you’re not committed to flying with one airline or alliance to build your frequent flyer points, knowing the on-time record can be helpful. Hit the link for all the global charts.

FlightStats [PDF via Business Insider]


  • Expanding your table to be a little more useful, and highlighting the A14 (Arrival within 14 minutes) time – because a timely arrival is the far more important to most PAX:

    1. JL – 129,300 Flights – 89.83% A14
    2. NH – 244,828 Flights – 85.55% A14
    3. NZ – 59,933 Flights – 84.18% A14
    4. KE – 158,750 Flights – 83.47% A14
    5. QF – 146,422 Flights – 83.17% A14
    6. SQ – 91,462 Flights – 83.02% A14
    7. TG – 99,905 Flights – 79.35% A14
    8. VA – 106,330 Flights – 78.93% A14
    9. 9W – 123,896 Flights – 78.33% A14
    10. OZ – 114,675 Flights – 78.14% A14

    ANA is clearly doing best here, I am not sure why this airline has been placed second as it has twice the number of tracked flights but that doubling only added 5% arrival delay.

    Air New Zealand… well, they didn’t even get 60K flights tracked in 2013 to hit third place. Push this airline up to ANAs 250K tracked flights and their A14 is going to be hit, Korea is right on their tail with well over double the flights.

  • As Henry points out and they did brush over in the article there is a lot more to it than what the stats say. If you’re planning a trip and want to be on time, don’t look at the overall OTP (On Time Performance) Stats, you want to find out what the Performance is for each Airline going to your destination as the Departure and Destination are critical parts of whether you’ll be on time or not.

    f you’re flying into a regional airport that has minimal services (For example no Precision Instrument Approaches like an ILS) and it is prone to having bad weather then chances are that there will always be delays there. Also if you’re departing an Airport that is prone to massive traffic delays due to inadequate infrastructure (Ie not enough Runways, Taxiways etc…) then you probably won’t be leaving on time either.

    Also depends on whether they are going to a major hub for that airline or not, if you are going somewhere they don’t often go then they are mostly likely relying on other services that are being contracted, if it’s busy then they may be down the list of priorities as they are a minor customer and as such their turn around times are likely to increase in such situations.

    Take Brisbane Airport as a prime example, it desperately needs its new runway. At the moment because of Minimas for the approach not being low enough and the Seperation standards for aircraft being so large compared to other airports in the world you end up with massive delays when there are storms around, the traffic coming in get first priority and if they are stacked up against each other then the aircraft on the ground get delayed as well because there is no room for departures between the arrivals.

    Honestly, Australia really needs to improve it’s Aviation Infrastructure overall, it’s sorely lacking compared to that of say Europe or USA.

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