Measuring airline punctuality

By | Category: Travel news

Monarch Airlines__Aircraft flying over the clouds - low res-1OAG is a company that is largely known for compiling the airline timetables that we use. By possessing this information it also is able to give us an idea of airline punctuality but only if airlines provide their flight details to them.

Using what they have, OAG has issued a list of what, in its calculations, is the most punctual an – some may view it surprisingly – the winner is Monarch Airlines with an 88.18% on time performance.   In second place was Flybe with 87.47% of its flights on time. That Jet2 was in 50th place but less than two percentage points being shows just how close the differences between the top 25 airlines is. British Airways came in 70th place with 76.34% of its flights on time but is OAG comparing apples with apples?

It is agreed that Heathrow is operating at capacity which means that airlines can be stacked on approach and queued up to try and take-off. Pouring a quart into a pint pot has been the rule at Heathrow for years and the airport has done wonders to cope as well as it has. But it means that British Airways which has hundreds of flights from there is constrained by those capacity issues. Monarch – operating from smaller, less busy airports – does not nor does Flybe.

OAG also considers airports in terms of punctuality looking at 200 worldwide. Heathrow is towards the bottom of the list as is Gatwick and Stansted. The most punctual British airport was Bristol which ranked 9 out the 200. Japanese airports top the league table so what is that they manage that airports in the UK and Ireland cannot? Is it all due to capacity issues or is it due to the vast numbers of flights operating over UK airspace? Or are our airports – and airlines – inefficient in being punctual compared to other airlines?

Readers will have noticed that there is no mention of Ryanair which trumpets it’s on time punctuality with a fanfare on its flights. Because it didn’t provide OAG with all of its flights the airline was not included in the measurement. If it had been, it would have been the most punctual European airline.


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