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Japan's top carriers were the most on-time airlines in 2021

Dec. 29, 2021
3 min read
Japan's top carriers were the most on-time airlines in 2021
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Japanese airlines offered up some impressive on-time performance in 2021.

The country's two network carriers were the most on-time airlines in the world this year, according to aviation data provider Cirium.

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All Nippon Airways took top billing, with a 95.04% on-time arrival rate and a completion factor of 99.24%, meaning that just 0.76% of all flights were canceled.

Japan Airlines took the number two spot, with an on-time arrival rate of 94.13% and an identical completion factor of 99.24%.

The top U.S. carrier on this list was Delta Air Lines, in the number five spot, which saw 87.80% of its flights arrive on time, with a 99.82% completion factor.

Here's a look at Cirium's top 10 on-time performance list for global mainline carriers — in other words, airlines with global networks, excluding their regional affiliates:

RankingAirlineOn-Time Arrival RateCompletion Factor
1All Nippon Airways 95.04% 99.24%
2Japan Airlines94.13%99.24%
3Aeroflot91.05%99.58%
4LATAM Airlines88.67%98.87%
5Delta Air Lines87.80%99.82%
6KLM86.07%99.61%
7S7 Airlines80.99%99.74%
8American Airlines80.47%97.50%
9United Airlines80.38%99.08%
10Saudia80.24%98.80%

Here's a look at the top five on-time performance list for North American mainline carriers:

RankingAirlineOn-Time Arrival RateCompletion Factor
1Delta Air Lines87.80%99.82%
2Alaska Airlines81.72%99.06%
3American Airlines80.47%97.50%
4United Airlines80.38%99.08%
5Spirit Airlines76.33%96.48%

In addition, Delta Air Lines won a special "platinum award" for operational excellence.

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"It is the world’s best performing airline when considering on-time performance, operational complexity and its ability to limit the impact of flight disruption to its passengers," Cirium writes in its on-time performance review.

Related: Airlines cancel nearly 1,000 flights Tuesday as disruptions continue to climb

Cirium started tracking on-time performance again on June 1, when it saw enough of an uptick in flights globally, a spokesperson explained to TPG. The period for the awards spans from June 1 to Dec. 20 — a few days before airlines globally and especially in the U.S. began to see significant operational disruptions due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, as well as weather.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023