The aviation industry’s punctuality rankings for last year are in, showing that U.S. airlines and airports are generally doing a better job of getting passengers to their destinations on time.
That is in line with an overall improvement worldwide, according to global travel data provider OAG, which has just released its annual “Punctuality League.” A flight is counted as on time when it gets to the gate within 15 minutes of its scheduled arrival.
John Grant, OAG senior analyst, said that 2019 was a good year for punctuality, noting that “the global market is nearly near peak performance.” That said, airlines have also resorted to schedule padding to boost their results.
So, which airlines did the best? OAG’s report named Hawaiian Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines as the top three most reliable airlines in North America.
Hawaiian led the pack with 87.4% of all flights arriving on schedule; the carrier typically does well, given that it is a relatively small line that has the advantage of being based in a warm-weather destination.
Delta was the top performer among network airlines, with 83.5% of its operations arriving on time; Alaska was rated third-best, with 81.4% of flights meeting their schedule.
In other U.S. airline results, Southwest and Spirit both clocked in at 79.4% on time; American was next, at 77.9%, and United and JetBlue finished the year at 76.2% and 73.81%, respectively, of flights on schedule.
Worldwide, Garuda Indonesia took the top spot, with 95% on its flights counted as on time; another top performer was Panama’s Copa Airlines, at 92%.
In the airport category, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson and Seattle-Tacoma finished as the fourth and fifth most punctual “mega-airports” globally, with 83.7% and 80.2%, respectively, of flights reported as on time. Other top performers – with at least 80% of operations running smoothly – include airports in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, Charlotte, Phoenix, Miami, Houston and Las Vegas. Worldwide, Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport was the top airline for punctuality, with an 86.8% on-time performance. The top three international airports were rounded out by Tokyo Haneda (86.6%) and Singapore Changi (84%).