Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Looking for Airline Punctuality? Delta May be the Ticket

Delta gets the top spot in 2019 for on-time performance, according to industry analysts

January 6, 2020

Delta Air Lines tops the list as the most on-time airline in North America, according to the annual On-Time Performance (OTP) Review released by Cirium, and its collection of travel data and analytics for 2019.

Both Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines rank at second and third place in the North America category, with Spirit Airlines, who did not feature in the top ten in 2018, miraculously achieving a fourth place position in 2019.

In another surprise, Russia’s Aeroflot was named as the world’s most on-time mainline airline in the OTP Review.

Cirium provides ranking of the top ten most on-time airlines and airports globally, by size and region, 86.7 per cent of Aeroflot’s flights operated on-time in 2019. With over 600 data sources, from almost every airline and airport around the world, Cirium tracks more than 100,000 flights per day. Using advanced technology, expert data analysts process 15nmillion updates per day.

According to Cirium, an airline’s flight is on-time if the aircraft arrives at the gate under 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time. Airport on-time performance is measured by on-time departing flights.

Last year, Delta Air Lines, took third place in the global category with 85.7 per cent of flights arriving on-time in 2018.

Meanwhile, in this recent review, Latin American airline LATAM clinched top ranking of the global network airline category with 86.7 per cent of the flights in its network arriving on time.

The 2019 Review also revealed that the most punctual airline in Europe is also Aeroflot. In the Asia Pacific, ANA took the top spot; Copa Airlines showed as most on-time in Latin America; and in the Middle East and Africa, Qatar Airways beat Emirates to top ranking.

Japanese airline StarFlyer was named the world’s most punctual low cost carrier with 91.4 per cent of flights arriving on-schedule.

Cirium’s OTP Review also identified the world’s most punctual airport, with Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International (SVO) operating the most on-schedule departing flights, with 95 per cent being on time. North America’s global airports dominate the top 20 list with eight airports that made the cut – Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) being the only one to rank in the top ten. As the world’s leading authority on airline on-time performance, aviation and travel data analytics expert Cirium has now published its annual review for 11 consecutive years.

“We apply the highest level of data analysis to generate our On-Time Performance and Aeroflot surpassed other leading airlines as the world’s most on-time mainline airline,” said Jeremy Bowen, Cirium CEO. “As Aeroflot has more controls in place over their environment than most, that helps enormously to drive the airline’s operational efficiency. Russia’s successful year continues with Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International airport also winning the top spot as the most punctual airport. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines has been named the most punctual mainline and network airline in North America for the third successive year; this is a fantastic achievement and a testament to their focus on optimizing operational efficiency.”

The initial members of Cirium’s on-time performance board include: Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Executive Director and CEO at ALTA (The Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association); Henry H. Harteveldt, President at Atmosphere Research Group; and Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association). New members will be joining in 2020.