US carrier Delta is the world’s most on-time airline, according to new research by aviation and air travel data service FlightGlobal (incorporating FlightStats).
The airline achieved an on-time rating of 85.94 per cent over 2017, and the study noted that during a nine-day period in November, including the US Thanksgiving holiday, the carrier cancelled only one of 23,485 flights.
Japan Airlines came second in the Major International Airlines mainline category with an on-time rating of 85.6 per cent, followed by ANA on 83.82 per cent, Qatar Airways on 83.64 per cent, and SAS on 82.94 per cent.
Iberia topped the stats in the global airline network category (ie: the system of flights marketed by Iberia and operated by them and their airline partners) with an overall on-time performance of 88.97 per cent, while subsidiary Iberia Express came out on top in the Low-cost Airlines category with an impressive 91.77 per cent.
It’s worth noting that Iberia’s mainline rating of 89.54 per cent was actually higher than that of Delta, but the carrier was deemed ineligible for the Major International Airlines mainline category, as according to FlightGlobal criteria “airlines are categorized as a global carrier based on comparable operational characteristics such as number of flights, seats and regions served.”
A full list of the airline on-time performances across seven categories can be seen here. The ratings were determined from the tracking of around 99,000 flights per day, with a total of over 36 million flights processed in 2017.
For the purposes of the ratings, on-time is determined as being flights arriving at the gates within 14 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.