Revealed: The World’s Best – and Worst – On-Time Airlines

Over time, business travelers develop a sense of which airlines tend to be on time and which do not, and make their travel plans accordingly. Aviation insights provider FlightStats goes several steps further. It mines for hard numbers that prove or disprove anecdotal experience.

FlightStats gathers data from some 500 sources, including flight-tracking and positional services, radar services, airline and airport data and regulatory bodies. It then analyzes the information to come up with an airline’s on-time record for the year, defined as the proportion of all flights that arrived at their destination within at least 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.

In 2016, reports FlightStats, the airline with the best on-time record is the Netherlands’ KLM, followed closely by Spain’s Iberia. In third place is Japan’s JAL, and then Qatar Airways, Austrian and ANA, another Japanese airline.

And the worst performing in terms of arrival time? It’s Israel’s El Al, whose flights arrive on time just 44% of the time. Sadly, eight of the worst-performing airlines are in Asia, led by Air India, Philippine Airlines and Korea’s Asiana Airlines.

Food for thought for CFOs and other finance road warriors.

Best Major International Airlines (three or more geographical regions)

  • KLM (88.18% on-time)
  • Iberia (88.18% on-time)
  • JAL (87.80% on-time)
  • Qatar Airways (86.34% on-time)
  • Austrian (85.74% on-time)
  • ANA (85.54% on-time)
  • Singapore Airlines (85.45% on-time)
  • Delta Air Lines (85.17% on-time)
  • TAM Linhas Aereas (85.07% on time)
  • Qantas (84.30% on-time)

Best Major Asia-Pacific Airlines

  • JAL (87.80% on-time)
  • Virgin Australia (85.86% on-time)
  • ANA (85.54% on-time)
  • Singapore Airlines (85.45% on-time)
  • Qantas (84.30% on-time)
  • Air New Zealand (80.82% on-time)
  • Jet Airways India (76.12% on-time)
  • Cathay Pacific (74.62% on-time)
  • Jetstar (74.37% on-time)
  • IndiGo (74.22% on-time)

World’s Worst-Performing Airlines

  • El Al (44.00% on-time)
  • Icelandair (58.95% on-time)
  • Air India (61.29% on-time)
  • Philippine Airlines (61.67% on-time)
  • Asiana Airlines (62.54% on-time)
  • China Eastern Airlines (64.20% on-time)
  • Hong Kong Airlines (66.58% on-time)
  • Air China (67.27% on-time)
  • Korean Air (68.26% on-time)
  • Hainan Airlines (69.70% on-time)
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