Airline Punctuality

By | Category: Travel rumblings

bmi A320

bmi A320

There are lots of websites that will give snapshots of what happens based on a few thousand examples. When it comes to assessing how punctual airlines were last year we have the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) figures as analysed by In this instance we are talking of thousands if not tens of thousands or in the case of BA, nearly a quarter of a million flights. So the results are solid. What must be remembered about the figures for 2010 was that airline punctuality was disrupted by snow and volcanic ash. Secondly airports which are close to capacity like Heathrow and Gatwick, are more likely to have delays which are not of an airlines’ making.

Having said that, the figures then serve as a guide to how bad some airlines became in 2010. The most punctual airline was bmi regional followed by Eastern Airlines. And the worst was Jet 2. Of the popular airlines, KLM was 5th, bmi British Midland was 10th, flybe 13th and Ryanair 15th. Aer Lingus was 16th, Air France, 17th and BA, 20th. easyJet was 31st and Virgin Atlantic 33rd.
Knowing which airline was not that punctual might make you decide to use a more on-time aircraft in the future but is the difference in punctuality that much? The average delay across the whole of 2010 was just 7.1 minutes for bmi regional. For Jet 2 it was 35.5 minutes.

There aren’t comparable figures for the charter airlines but from April to October last year. Thomson Airways was delayed on average 14.1 minutes, Monarch was 29.4, Thomas Cook was 34.92 and Viking 52.22 minutes. At individual airports, bmi regional was the most punctual at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester, the only airline to have captured more than one first place. At Heathrow it was KLM (which was also the runner up at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle) and at Gatwick, Air Southwest. At Stansted, the winner was Air Berlin, at Luton, flybe (with Ryanair was the runner-up) and at Birmingham, Loganair.

It is interesting to see that those airlines renowned for good service such as Singapore Airlines and the Middle Eastern ones didn’t fare well in the punctuality list. It seems good service can outweigh punctuality in people’s perceptions!

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