Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Delta Dominates On-Time Performance Rankings in North America

As noted by Cirium, the Atlanta-based airline has consistently held the top spot for monthly on-time performance (OTP) among North American carriers in 2023

by Matteo Legnani

June 22, 2023

Photo: Delta Boeing 767-400ER. Courtesy of Miguel Angel Sanz / Unsplash

In the competitive world of air travel, Delta Air Lines has emerged as North America’s leading carrier for on-time departures and arrivals, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium.

Cirium’s data reveals Delta’s major hubs in Detroit (DTW), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Salt Lake City (SLC) have consistently ranked among the world’s top 20 airports for on-time take-offs and landings during the year’s first five months. Only two other U.S. gateways, Philadelphia (PHL) and Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) demonstrated exceptional performance.

Photo: Delta Air Lines, Boeing 767-300ER. Courtesy of Miguel Angel Sanz / Unsplash

Following closely behind Delta in the North American rankings were Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines, all consistently placing among the top five U.S. carriers.

Notably, Hawaiian Airlines, renowned for its punctuality, was not included in the ranking due to its base location in the middle of the Pacific without an intra-continental USA network.

The most recent data for May shows that Delta achieved an impressive 88.9% on-time completion of flights, defined as landings within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time. Alaska Airlines followed with 84.7%, while American Airlines secured 83.9%.

Photo: Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

Rounding out the top 10 were United Airlines (79.7%), Westjet (79.3%), Southwest Airlines (77.8%), JetBlue Airways (75.6%), Air Canada (70.2%), and Frontier (68.0%).

Avianca Tops Global Charts

On a global scale, three North American operators made it into the top 10. Delta secured the second position, with American Airlines ranking eighth and United coming tenth.

Photo: Avianca, Airbus A320neo. Courtesy of Avianca.

Colombian carrier Avianca claimed the top spot with an 89.5% on-time completion rate, followed by LATAM at 88.2%. Iberia (86.63%), All Nippon Airways (86.0%), Japan Airlines (85.9%), Qatar Airways (85.8%), Emirates (81.5%), and United Airlines completed the global rankings.

IndiGo has the highest percentage of on-time flights in the Asia-Pacific region, with 85.0%. In Europe, Norwegian Air Shuttle leads with 89.2%, while Copa Airlines leads Latin America with 93.4%.

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

Oman Air holds the best performance in the Middle East and Africa, with a remarkable 95.1%. Among low-cost operators, Safair prevails with 93.6%.

Global Airport Rankings

In terms of global airports, Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport took the lead in May with an impressive 89.6% on-time departures. Two other Delta hubs mirrored this exceptional performance—Detroit at 88.8% and Salt Lake City at 87.5%.

Photo: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Courtesy of Weston M / Unsplash

Philadelphia International secured the fourth position at 87.5%, followed by Seattle-Tacoma (86.2%), Charlotte (83.5%), San Diego (83.1%), Washington-Dulles and Chicago-O’Hare (82.5%), and Los Angeles (82.2%).

All of these top 10 North American hubs ranked among the best 20 global airports according to Cirium’s specifications, which include passenger volumes of 25-40 million per year and serving at least three world regions, including their own.