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The World’s Most Punctual Airlines and Airports in 2022

Which airline and airport offered the most on-time performance in 2022? In this post, we’ll be sharing the top 10 airlines and airports which offered the most on-time performance in 2022 according to CIRIUM.

*Note that for a flight to be on time, it must arrive at the gate within 15 minutes.

Top 10 Global Airlines for On-Time Performance

Azul Airlines has been ranked as the most punctual global airline in 2022, closely followed by Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines. Each of these leaders achieved an on-time performance of over 88% last year.

Moreover, the winners in the regions were Delta Air Lines in North America, Thai AirAsia in Asia-Pacific, Iberia in Europe, Azul in Latin America and Oman Air in the Middle East and Africa.

AirlineOn-time rankingOn-time arrivalTotal flights
All Nippon Airlines288.61%162,370
Japan Airlines388.00%165,981
LATAM Airlines486.31%451,651
Delta Air Lines583.63%1,004,684
SA AVIANCA683.48%144,525
United Airlines880.46%789,200
Qatar Airways978.32%152,377
American Airlines1078.29%1,076,100

Cirium further noted that the Japanese airlines and airports continue to deliver passengers to their arrival gates on time – pandemic or no pandemic.

In 2022, more than 31 million scheduled passenger flights were operated, up by 26% compared with 2021 whereas the seating capacity grew by 32%.

Top 10 Global Airports for On-Time Performance

When it comes to airports, Haneda Airport saw the most on-time performance, with an on-time departure rate of 90.33%, followed by Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and Salt Lake City International Airport wrapping up the top three airports with the most on-time performance in 2022.

Six out of the world’s top ten most punctual airports were in the United States, led by Salt Lake City International Airport.

*Note that an airport’s on-time performance is measured by whether flights departed within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time or not.

AirportOn-time rankingOn-time departureTotal flights
Haneda Airport190.33%373,264
Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport284.08%201,897
Salt Lake City International Airport383.87%226,545
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport482.62%271,963
Philadelphia International Airport582.54%233,777
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport681.95%276,346
Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport781.84%411,205
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport881.04%383,250
El Dorado International Airport980.72%273,721
Charlotte Douglas International Airport1080.68%457,871

Even though the overall aviation industry is still somehow performing below pre-pandemic levels, airports are adjusting their logistics and continuously working to avoid any staffing issues. In 2022, scheduled flight departures were 19% below 2019 levels, with fourth-quarter departures down by 16%.

Top 10 Airlines for On-Time Performance in North America

In North America, Delta Airlines had the best on-time performance, with an on-time arrival rate of 83.63%. United and Alaska Airlines ranked second and third respectively. Despite facing harsh weather conditions alongside operational issues, all three major US carriers managed to make it into the Global Top 10 list.

Moreover, Delta was also honoured with the Cirium Platinum Award for the second consecutive year. Cirium’s Platinum Award is awarded considering a variety of factors, including on-time performance, operational complexity and an airline’s ability to limit the impact of flight disruption on its passengers.

AirlineOn-time rankingOn-time arrivalTotal flights
Delta Air Lines183.63%1,004,684
United Airlines280.46%789,200
Alaska Airlines380.36%243,072
American Airlines478.29%1,076,100
Southwest Airlines574.06%1,336,888
Frontier Airlines668.32%170,047
JetBlue Airways766.35%343,673
Allegiant Air865.93%117,469
Air Canada1054.51%150,602

One of the key reasons behind Delta’s success is its comprehensive contingency plan in place to help minimize the impact of delays or disruptions alongside its major focus on operational efficiency and reliability. But Delta’s success in on-time performance doesn’t just rely on the airline itself – it also has a lot to do with the airports it operates out of. Delta operates out of some of the most reliable airports in the United States.

Top 10 Airlines for On-Time Performance in Europe

None of the European Airlines made it into the Top 10 lists of most punctual global airlines. Iberia tops the list of the most punctual airline in Europe with an on-time arrival rate of 85.87%.

AirlineOn-time rankingOn-time arrivalTotal flights
Air Europa284.10%48,163
Iberia Express383.80%35,665
Norwegian Air Shuttle681.29%71,561
ITA Airways780.29%91,841
Norwegian Air Sweden879.03%41,215
LOT – Polish Airlines1075.08%85,902

While Europe saw a gradual increase in demand for air travel with the ease of travel restrictions, things got bad due to widespread staffing issues and shortages among some of the top airlines and airports.

Top 10 Airlines for On-Time Performance in Latin America

Azul and Sky Airlines accounted for the most on-time arrival in Latin America, closely followed by Copa Airlines. Over 88% of their flights arrived on time in 2022.

AirlineOn-time rankingOn-time arrivalTotal flights
Sky Airline288.74%27,161
Copa Airlines388.02%104,083
LATAM Airlines486.31%451,651
SA AVIANCA583.48%144,525
Aerolineas Argentinas682.02%94,982

Top 10 Airlines for On-Time Performance in Asia Pacific

Asia-Pacific was considerably slower to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions, compared to the rest of the world. Thai AirAsia topped the list with an on-time arrival of 91.56% in Asia-Pacific.

AirlineOn-time rankingOn-time arrivalTotal flights
Thai AirAsia191.56%66,043
All Nippon Airlines (ANA)288.61%162,370
Japan Airlines388.00%165,981
Juneyao Airlines486.65%88,115
AirAsia India683.70%60,882
Air New Zealand781.29%156,591
Malaysia Airlines880.99%95,962
Peach Aviation1079.81%56,176

“The past year saw a challenging operational environment across the world, particularly in Europe and North America, with many airlines and airports experiencing delays, disruptions and resource challenges. Others continue to emerge from Covid restrictions, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite this climate, many airlines and airports worldwide excelled,” Cirium noted.

Top 10 Airlines for On-Time Performance in the Middle East and Africa

Moving towards the Middle East and Africa, Oman Air topped the list with an on-time arrival rate of 91.38%. Royal Jordanian and Kuwait Airways ranked second and third respectively. Emirates and Qatar Airways had a big year for travel with the delayed Expo 2020 Dubai and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 both taking place last year.

AirlineOn-time rankingOn-time arrivalTotal flights
Oman Air191.38%29,631
Royal Jordanian286.76%28,887
Kuwait Airways381.64%25,982
Qatar Airways578.32%152,377
Ethiopian Airlines677.30%102,571
Middle East Airlines775.91%20,654
Royal Air Maroc872.01%45,062
EL AL969.80%23,274

Top 10 Low-Cost Airlines for On-Time Performance

Japan’s StarFlyer was the world’s leading low-cost carrier in terms of on-time performance with an on-time arrival rate of 95.23%. The highest-ranked LCC in Europe was Spain’s Iberia Express, ranked at 8th place.

AirlineOn-time rankingOn-time arrivalTotal flights
Solaseed Air294.53%27,486
Thai AirAsia391.56%66,043
Sky Airline588.74%27,161
Air Do688.34%22,187
Iberia Express883.80%35,665
AirAsia India983.70%60,882

It is worth noting that on-time performance can be affected by a variety of factors, including the airlines and the airport, but also the route, the time of day, and the weather. Despite this, the airlines and airports mentioned above were able to consistently deliver on-time performance for their passengers.

Source: CIRIUM