The World’s Most Punctual Airlines and Airports
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
According to the Punctuality League Report for 2018 from OAG, the airline with the best on-time record in the world is not a major carrier. In fact, it does not even have real long-haul aircraft.
The air travel intelligence company analyzed 57 million flights in 2017, the most the group has ever combed through to come up with the most punctual airlines, airports. New this year, it also features the busiest routes.
On-time performance is defined as “flights that arrive or depart within 14 minutes and and 59 seconds (under 15 minutes) of their scheduled arrival/departure times.” And, the winner is…. airBaltic.
Most Punctual Airlines
|On Time Performance||Notes|
|airBaltic||90.01%||Top Mainline Airline and Top Airline in Europe|
|Hong Kong Airlines||88.83%||Top Airline in Asia-Pacific|
|Hawaiian Airlines||87.24%||Top Airline in North America|
|Copa Airlines||86.39%||Top Airline in Latin America|
|Japan Airlines||85.27%||Top Mega Airline|
|Vueling Airlines||85.35%||Top Low-Cost Carrier|
The Latvian state-owned airBaltic came was ranked number one out of all the airlines in the world, with more than 9 out of 10 of its flights leaving or arriving on time. (We recently reviewed the experience onboard its latest airplane, the brand-new Bombardier CS300.)
The top US airline, which was number three overall, was Hawaiian Airlines. Spanish carrier Vueling was the highest-rated low cost carrier (LCC.)
“This year, six of the Top 20 airlines are LCCs, up from four last year and two in 2015,” the report stated.
Canada’s Air Inuit came in dead last with a 44.6% rating for on-time performance. Venezuelan carrier AVIOR Airlines received a 53.1% and China’s Shenzhen Airlines was the world’s third-worst with 53.5%.
Most Punctual North American Airlines
|On Time Performance|
|Delta Air Lines||82.76%|
For the fourth year in a row, Hawaiian sits at number one on the list of most punctual North American airlines. It’s almost 5 percentage points ahead of Delta, which climbed to the number two spot after being in third place in 2016.
Most Punctual Airports
While OAG didn’t share a ranking of airports with the best on time performance overall, they did break it down by category. Among mega-airports with 30 million-plus departing seats per year, Tokyo Haneda (HND) placed at the top of list with 86.75% OTP score. Madrid (MAD) came in second with 83.63% and Atlanta (ATL) had a score of 82.38%.
The top major airport (20 to 30 million annual departing seats) was Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP) with 85.72% of its flights leaving on time. Another Japanese airport, Osaka – Itami (ITM) took the top spot for large airports (10 to 20 million departing seats) with 88.45%.
Most of the busiest international routes in the world were intra-Asia flights. The most trafficked was Hong Kong (HKG) to Taipei (TPE) with 29,294 flights with an OTP of 70.92%. Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Singapore (SIN) was the second busiest and Jakarta (CGK) to Singapore (SIN) took third place. The busiest internnational route originating in North America is New York LGA to Toronto YYZ, with nearly 21,000 flights taking place on the route and a very low average OTP of 54.24%.
Feature photo of an airBaltic passenger plane by Gareth Fuller – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees