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Most on-time airlines of 2023 revealed… and there isn’t an Aussie carrier among them 

While Australian airlines continued to improve their punctuality last year, compared to 2022, flight delays and cancellations remained a bugbear for too many Australian flyers in 2023. It’s little wonder then Australian airlines failed to earn a mention in Cirium’s review of the world’s most on-time carriers for the past 12 months.

While Australian airlines continued to improve their punctuality last year, compared to 2022, flight delays and cancellations remained a bugbear for too many Australian flyers in 2023. It’s little wonder then Australian airlines failed to earn a mention in Cirium’s review of the world’s most on-time carriers for the past 12 months.

The aviation analytics company’s annual report on the most punctual airlines and airports for 2023 revealed that the world’s most on-time airline last year was Colombian-based carrier Avianca Airlines, which achieved an on-time arrival score of 85.7 per cent. Avianca edged rival South American carrier, Brazilian-based Azul (85.5 per cent), to the top spot. 

Qatar Airways was the world's third most punctual carrier. airlines
Qatar Airways was the world’s third most punctual carrier.

The next most punctual carrier was Qatar Airways, which experienced an 85.1 per cent on-time arrival score, followed by Delta Air Lines (84.7 per cent), Iberia (84.4 per cent) and LATAM Airlines (84 per cent). 

Japanese carriers All-Nippon Airways (82.8 per cent) and Japan Airlines (82.6 per cent) finished as the top Asia-Pacific airlines, placing seventh and eighth respectively, while Saudi (81.3 per cent) and American Airlines (80.6 per cent) rounded out the top 10 most punctual global operators.

Asia-Pacific high-flyers

Following ANA and JAL, APAC’s top performers were Thai AirAsia (82.5 per cent), India’s IndiGo (82.1 per cent) and Australasia’s most punctual carrier, Air New Zealand, which earned an on-time arrival score of 79.7 per cent.

Rounding out the top 10 airlines in the Asia-Pacific region were Garuda Indonesia (78.7 per cent), Singapore Airlines (78.6 per cent), Philippine Airlines (77.5 per cent), Vietnam Airlines (77.5 per cent) and Cathay Pacific (76.3 per cent). No Aussie carriers finished among the top 10 carriers for the region. 

“All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines have consistently ranked at or near the top of our Global and Asia-Pacific (APAC) categories since the inception of the on-time performance awards,” said Juliett Alpha Media Principal Mike Arnot, who provided commentary on the report. 

“Last year, ANA emerged victorious in the APAC category, a source of great pride for the Japanese carrier and its team. The results for 2023 reveal ANA’s continued success, albeit with a narrow margin. 

“The competition in the APAC region remained intense throughout the year, with JAL following closely behind by a near fraction of a percentage.”

The winners within other regions were Oman Air for the Middle East and Africa, Copa in Latin America, and Iberia Express in Europe. Safair was the leading low-cost carrier.

Most on-time airports

Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport 
airlines
Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport

Cirium also revealed the world’s most punctual airports, with Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport coming out on top globally with an 84.44 per cent on-time departure score. 

Following MSP in the rankings were Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (84.42 per cent), Kempegowda International Airport (84.08 per cent), El Dorado International Airport (84.01 per cent) and Salt Lake City International Airport (83.99 per cent). These airports also topped the large airports ranking.

Among medium-sized airports, Osaka International Airport was the stand-out performer, with an on-time departure score of 90.71 per cent, followed by Tocumen International Airport (90.51 per cent) and Jorge Chavez International Airport (89.10 per cent). 

Among small airports, Mariscal Sucre International Airport led the way, with a score of 90.29 per cent, followed by Chubu Centrair International Airport (90.17 per cent) and Jose Joaquin de Alameda Airport (88.83 per cent).

Christchurch Airport was the only Australasian airport to feature among the most punctual hubs, placing 15th in the world for the small airports category. 

“It is clear that airlines’ performance is attached to airport results and vice versa, showing once more the joint efforts to build efficiency with benefits for passengers and the whole aviation ecosystem,” Airports Council International (ACI) World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveria said in the report.

Cirium defines an on-time flight as a service that arrives within 15 minutes of the scheduled gate arrival, while for an airport, it is a service that departs within 15 minutes of its scheduled departure.