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Half of All Long-Haul Flights are Disrupted

In new study, 97 percent of long-haul airlines surveyed experienced some kind of significant disruption.

When it comes to on-time performance, three airlines take the ranks according to a new study by AirHelp. Hong Kong Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Kenya Airlines outpaced the competition in a study that looked at 75 long-haul airlines.

The study looked at data from 2017, 2018 and January 2019 to find that more than 50 percent of passengers on long-haul flights will likely experience a flight disruption, since nearly three out of every five flights surveyed were delayed for at least 15 minutes, or were cancelled. Fifty-five percent of all passengers bound for a flight that is five or more hours can expect to experience a problem.

Hong Kong Airlines is the top performer in terms of on-time performance, with a punctuality rating of 83.6 percent. The top runners up were Kenya Airlines with on-time performance of 71.9 percent, and Singapore Airlines, with 67 percent of flights arriving on time.

Airlines out of Asia and also American carriers were found to be the  most reliable for punctuality. Asia’s four top performers are Hong Kong Airlines (83.57 percent), Singapore Airlines (67.04 percent), Japan Airlines (66.75 percent) and All Nippon Airways (66.14 percent).

Delta Airlines is the highest-ranking US carrier, with a punctuality rate of 67 percent, followed by Alaska Airlines (65.95 percent), Spirit Airlines (64.28 percent) and United Airlines (64.27 percent).

Etihad Airways came in eighth for punctuality (65.79 percent).

As for European carriers, none featured in the top 10, although Iberia captured 11th place on the list (63.98 percent). Airlines based in Europe struggle particularly with their long-hauls. People flying with Nordic carriers are particularly likely to endure travel chaos for their long-haul flights, according to the numbers. Airlines such as Finnair, SAS and Norwegian run on-time for less than 50 percent of their flights.

For flyers on European carriers or flying out of the EU, however, the good news is they may be entitled to up to $700 per person in compensation for disruptions causing a delay of three hours or more to the final destination.