Top 10 Most On-Time Airlines Revealed – Is Your Favorite On The List?

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There are more than a few surprises in the global top 10, with multiple flag carriers, and even a budget airline, vying for first place.

For airlines, timekeeping is about more than keeping passengers happy. Delays can hit the bottom line with additional fuel, labor, and operational costs. Sloppy scheduling can also have a major reputational impact.

It’s therefore no surprise that companies work hard to keep their planes and people on time.

New data reveals which major airlines were the most punctual last month. The figures from aviation analysts Cirium show a company’s on-time performance across its entire network for March 2024. This is defined as an aircraft arriving at the gate within 15 minutes of its scheduled arrival time. 

Counting Down the Global Top 10

Kicking off the chart in tenth place is Turkish Airlines. The Istanbul-based firm has grown rapidly in recent years to become one of the world’s best-known carriers. Today, it serves 120 countries – more than any other airline. Despite its global reach, in March 84.03% of tracked flights arrived on time. 

In ninth place is Saudia – the national airline of Saudi Arabia – followed by SAS in eighth position. Spain’s Iberia squeezes in at seven, narrowly beating its Scandinavian rival. 

The first and only mention in the top 10 for a U.S. carrier comes next. Delta Air Lines is in sixth place, with 85.54% of tracked flights on time. As the table below illustrates, Delta operated more flights during March than the top five airlines combined, proving that scale and timekeeping can be achieved.

Latin America’s On-Time Trio

The next three spots are all Latin American companies. In fifth place is Latam Airlines – a giant group serving most major cities in South America. As well as its international network, it also operates in five domestic markets: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

In fourth position is Aeromexico, falling from February’s top spot. The Mexican carrier is followed in third place by Colombian national airline Avianca.

In second is Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus. The company has six airport bases throughout Türkiye and is the only budget airline in the global top 10. 

What Was The World’s Most Punctual Airline?

Leading the global list for March is Qatar Airways – it achieved an 87.36% on-time ranking.

Notably, the Doha-based carrier didn’t feature at all in February’s top five – marking a strong rise up the table. Given that the company flies to more than 170 destinations worldwide – including many of the world’s most congested airports – taking pole position is quite a feat.

Global Top 10 On-Time Airlines, March 2024:

On-Time Arrival Tracked Flights Total Flights
1 (QR) Qatar Airways 87.36% 98.68% 17,017
2 (PC) Pegasus 87.14% 94.32% 14,805
3 (AV) Avianca 87.05% 99.90% 22,120
4 (AM) Aeromexico 87.02% 99.81% 16,222
5 (LA) LATAM Airlines 85.99% 99.19% 45,861
6 (DL) Delta Air Lines 85.54% 99.99% 141,135
7 (IB) Iberia 85.17% 98.73% 14,897
8 (SK) SAS 84.80% 99.89% 17,834
9 (SV) Saudia 84.63% 98.16% 15,640
10 (TK) Turkish Airlines 84.03% 99.65% 39,827
Source: Cirium

Airlines Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of airline sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets including network carriers, low-cost carriers, and other related companies.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more airlines sector financial performance. 

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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