The Most Punctual Airlines in 2018

Traveling is all about time. The more you are able to predict how long will it take to get to your destination, the more your travel becomes efficient and relaxing. One thing you can do is to pick the connection or airport which has the best on-time performance among the others. As we’ve just entered the New Year 2019, it’s time to collect some data on which were the most punctual airlines in 2018.

Punctuality League 2018

In January 2019, like every year, company OAG released the new edition of their report called “Punctuality League 2019”. This is the ranking of the whole 2018 on-time performance for world’s biggest airlines and airports.

I think you would like to save a few minutes, so let me provide you the report essentials in a nutshell.

The report contains rankings grouped in the following categories:

  • Airlines
  • Airlines by Region
  • Airports by Size

I’m going to focus on the most interesting from my point of view categories which are Airlines and Airports by Size.

Before we will start, let’s check what does it mean “on-time performance”. Following OAG’s report:

OAG’s definition of on-time performance (OTP) is flights that arrive or depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival/departure times.

Cancellations are also included.

Punctuality League 2019 ,

What is important, OAG takes into account only these airlines or airports for which they have at least 80% of all scheduled flights records in their database.

Which Are The Most Punctual Airlines in 2018?

The most interesting subcategories are “All Airlines”, “Mega Airlines” and “Low Cost Carriers”.

All Airlines

In the category “All airlines” the top 10 of 20 airlines with the highest on-time performance are:

  1. Copa Airlines – 89.79%
  2. airBaltic – 89.17%
  3. Hong Kong Airlines – 88.11%
  4. Hawaiian Airlines – 87.52%
  5. Bangkok Airways – 87.16%
  6. Qantas Airways – 85.65%
  7. LATAM Airlines Group – 85.60%
  8. Azul – 85.21%
  9. Qatar Airways – 85.17%
  10. KLM – 84.52%

The last place is occupied by Alitalia with result 82.87%.

Mega Airlines

These are the world’s Top 20 air carriers in 2018. The top 5 of 20 most punctual airlines in this category are:

  1. LATAM Airlines Group – 85.60%
  2. All Nippon Airways – 84.43%
  3. Japan Airlines – 83.99%
  4. Delta Air Lines – 83.08%
  5. Alaska Airlines – 82.61%

What surprised me a lot is the poor on-time performance from Lufthansa – just 69,41% with rank 18. and Air China – 68,84% on place 19. The least punctual Mega Airline ranked in the report is Air Canada on place 20 with on-time performance 66.82%.

Low Cost Carriers

Airlines in this category must be listed among the Top 250 airlines in terms of passenger carrying capacity (ASK) in 2018 and operated at least 30 000 flights in 2018. The top 5 of 20 most punctual airlines in this category are:

  1. Azul – 85.21%
  2. Jetstar Asia – 84.13%
  3. Solaseed – 82.90%
  4. Mango – 82.88%
  5. Volaris – 82.04%

Air Busan took the last place – rank 20 with 74.08%.

Airlines Category Resume

I’ve placed the main airline categories results (min and max) on the graph to see the span:

The Most Punctual Airlines in 2018 - resume graph

As you can see above – the best from biggest players ranks among the worst from the overall ranking and the worst from Mega Airlines is far below the worst LCC carriers and had more than 3 flights delayed per 10 scheduled.

It seems that huge passenger’s volumes and operating on the major hubs which are always extremely busy reflects in poor on-time performance of big fishes. This is confirmed by the next category:

Mega Airports On-Time Performance

Airports considered as Mega in the OAG report had to have more than 30 million departing scheduled seats in 2018.

The Top 10 of 20 Mega Airports with highest on-time performance are:

  1. Tokyo Haneda – 85.62%
  2. Atlanta – 82.23%
  3. Singapore Changi – 80.70%
  4. Denver – 80.65%
  5. Los Angeles – 79.95%
  6. Madrid – 79.16%
  7. Dallas/Fort Worth – 78.23%
  8. Amsterdam – 77.73%
  9. Bangkok – 77.21%
  10. Chicago O’Hare – 76.67%

But what correlates with poor on-time performance of Lufthansa and Air China is the rank of:

16. Beijing – 73.87%

17. Munich – 71.98%


19. Frankfurt – 70.71%

Which are the mother airports from Air China and Lufthansa.

Final Words

OAG delivered a quite interesting report. Now, knowing which are the most punctual airlines you can make some better choices when selecting the route or carrier.

If you are interested in monthly on-time performance summaries you can check my page with on-time performance summary from

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