South Africa boasts the world's most punctual airline

21 April 2017 - 16:17 By AFP Relaxnews
A new ranking reveals your odds of arriving to your destination on time are greater if you fly Safair or Mango.
A new ranking reveals your odds of arriving to your destination on time are greater if you fly Safair or Mango.
Image: iStock

Two South African carriers have claimed spots in the top 10 of a new ranking of the world's most punctual airlines and airports.

For the report, which was released by Air travel intelligence company, OAG, only airlines and airports with a minimum of 600 operations a month were considered. Likewise, only those able to provide flight status information for a minimum of 80% of scheduled flights within a 12-month period were included.

While South African carrier Safair topped the ranking with an impressive 96% On-Time Performance (OPT) it's a fairly small airline with 12,366 operations.

Overall, the top-ranked airlines on the list have the advantage of operating fewer flights.


The top-rated mainline carrier for the US is Hawaiian Airlines, which posted an 88% OTP record.

Not far behind, Delta Air Lines beat its rivals in the legacy carrier category, with an OTP of 84%.

Analysts call Delta's performance particularly noteworthy given that a single delay or cancellation can easily derail the airline's entire flight schedule. For perspective, Delta offers 15,000 flights a day in conjunction with its alliance partners.

"Despite managing one of the largest fleets in the world, Delta has remained a cut above its competitors. American and United both finished solidly, earning 1-star ratings with an OTP of 78.7% and 78.6%, respectively."

Likewise, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport received an impressive OTP score of 85%, despite being the busiest airport in the world.

Other punctual mainline carriers with similar OTP scores include Japan Airlines, KLM, Qantas, Qatar and Singapore Airlines.

At the other end of the spectrum, the airlines that most often experience flight delays were Air France, Vueling Airlines, Frontier, Cathay Pacific Airways, Royal Jordanian and Seaborne Airlines.

Meanwhile, the airport most likely to help get you to your destination on time is Paris Beauvais-Tille Airport, which posted a score of 96%, followed by Tokushima and Kochi, both in Japan, Newcastle in the UK and Dortmund in Germany.

Here are the top 10 most punctual airlines according to the OAG:

1) Safair, South Africa

2) Jazeera Airways, Kuwait

3) Air Baltic Corporation, Latvia

4) SunExpress, Turkey

5) Tigerair, Singapore

6) Air Dolomiti, Italy

7) TUIfly, Germany

8) Belavia, Belarus

9) Mango, South Africa

10) Copa Airlines, Panama

For the full list visit