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Cirium Unveils World’s Top Airlines for Punctuality in February

Aeromexico was the most punctual airline in the world in February, while Delta was the most punctual in North America

by Fergus Cole

March 15, 2024

Photo: Aeromexico, Boeing 737 MAX 9. Courtesy of Boeing

Aeromexico, the Mexican flag carrier, has been named the most punctual airline in the world for February 2021. According to Cirium, 90.66 percent of its scheduled flights arrived at their destination on time.

The airline completed 99.78 percent of its scheduled flights, with 91.69 percent departing on time and 90.66 percent arriving on time, making it the most punctual global airline.

Photo: Aeromexico, Boeing 737 MAX 9. Courtesy of Boeing

Aeromexico’s on-time performance significantly improved in February compared to the previous month. In January, only 78.13% of its flights arrived on time, which means its February on-time performance increased by 12.5 percent month-on-month—the biggest jump among all airlines in the top 10.

“Occupying the top position worldwide is truly inspiring, and it is possible thanks to the enormous effort of the best-trained talent in the industry behind every takeoff and landing,” said Andres Conesa, CEO of Aeromexico.

Delta Air Lines was the second most punctual global airline last month, with 89.27 percent of its more than 123,000 flights arriving on time—a nearly 10 percent increase compared to the previous month.

Photo: Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

January’s most punctual airline—Spanish flag carrier Iberia—dropped to third place in February with an on-time performance of 88.08 percent.

Other U.S. airlines to make the top 10 globally were United Airlines, which placed fourth with an on-time performance of 84.91 percent, and American Airlines, which placed sixth with an on-time performance of 84.43 percent.

For its ranking of global airlines, Cirium only considers carriers that serve at least three regions and are in the top 10% of airlines by capacity and passenger volume.

RankAirlineTotal flightsOn-time arrival
2Delta Air Lines123,74889.27%
4United Airlines118,06284.91%
6American Airlines163,11984.43%
8Qatar Airways16,29283.27%

North America:

Flight cancellations in North America decreased by 77 percent in February compared to January, causing a significant improvement in on-time arrival performance for all major airlines.

Delta, United, and American Airlines improved their on-time performance by 10 percent, 7 percent, and 10 percent, respectively, while Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines also saw a 7 percent and 8 percent increase in the proportion of flights arriving on time.

This improvement was somewhat expected, as January was particularly bad for U.S. and Canadian airlines. Severe winter weather impacted thousands of flights across the continent, resulting in a 400 percent increase in flight cancellations compared to December 2023.

RankAirlineTotal flightsOn-time arrival
1Delta Air Lines123,74889.27%
2United Airlines118,06284.91%
3American Airlines163,11984.43%
4Alaska Airlines30,29781.91%
5Southwest Airlines107,73581.88%
6Frontier Airlines15,24780.30%
7Spirit Airlines22,83378.33%
8Air Canada29,17975.28%


European airlines significantly improved their on-time performance in February. The total number of flight cancellations decreased by around 7 percent compared to January.

Photo: Boeing 777-200ER. Courtesy of Austrian Airlines.

Austrian Airlines was the top-performing airline in the continent, with an impressive 92.96 percent overall on-time arrival rate, 6 percent higher than the previous month.

Iberia’s low-cost subsidiary, Iberia Express, secured second place with 90.15 percent of its flights arriving on time. Aegean Airlines came in third with an on-time performance of 89.67 percent.

RankAirlineTotal flightsOn-time arrival
1Austrian Airlines7,10592.96%
2Iberia Express3,27890.15%
3Aegean Airlines6,42689.67%
4ITA Airways9,83889.32%
8LOT Polish Airlines7,07786.68%
9Air Europa5,16885.70%
10Wizz Air Malta9,35185.30%

Latin America:

During February, Latin America witnessed a significant improvement in airline performance. The number of flight cancellations in the region dropped by 35 percent from January, with 2,398 flights canceled in February compared to 4,452 in January.

Photo: Copa Airlines, Boeing 737 MAX 9. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

Among the airlines in Latin America, Panamanian flag carrier Copa Airlines was the most punctual airline, with 91.66 percent of its scheduled flights arriving on time.

Aeromexico improved its punctuality ranking and secured second in February, while Caribbean Airlines came in third place.

RankAirlineTotal flightsOn-time arrival
1Copa Airlines9,77791.66%
3Caribbean Airlines2,41987.94%
6Aerolineas Argentina9,88782.92%
8LATAM Airlines43,69982.12%
9Sky Airline5,06471.77%

Asia Pacific:

In February, the Asia Pacific (APAC) region witnessed a significant drop of 21 percent in flight cancellations compared to January.

Singapore Airlines emerged as the most punctual airline in the region, with an on-time performance of 84.12 percent.

Photo: Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. Courtesy of Singapore Airlines

It was followed by All Nippon Airways (ANA), with an on-time arrival rate of 82.85 percent, and Cathay Pacific, with an on-time arrival rate of 82.03 percent.

RankAirlineTotal flightsOn-time arrival
1Singapore Airlines9,09884.12%
3Cathay Pacific7,49982.03%
5Garuda Indonesia5,58681.09%
7Peach Aviation4,44778.75%
8Philippine Airlines8,91878.23%
9Air New Zealand14,53576.70%

Middle East:

Flight cancellations in the Middle East and Africa dropped by 35 percent last month, which led to a slight improvement in the on-time performance of most airlines in the region by approximately 1-2 percent.

Safair, a South African low-cost carrier, was the top-performing airline, with an on-time performance of 93.96 percent, followed by Oman Air with 88.11 percent and Gulf Air with 84.08 percent.

RankAirlineTotal flightsOn-time arrival
2Oman Air3,73188.11%
3Gulf Air3,90884.08%
4Qatar Airways16,29283.27%
6Kuwait Airways2,83979.43%
7Royal Jordanian2,18976.14%
8Etihad Airways6,22375.64%
9Middle East Airlines1,32075.09%
10Royal Air Maroc4,56371.71%