Trust your time to these carriers to ensure the smoothest holiday travel this winter.
A flight delay can not only put a damper on your holiday travel plans but change your attitude for the worse. The good news is that some airlines are more dependable than others. Recent data collected by air travel intelligence company OAG from June 2017 through May 2018 reveals which carriers you’d be wise to trust your time and money to this winter. According to OAG, “on-time is defined as arrivals that take place strictly less than 15 minutes after scheduled arrival time, including cancellations.”
Latvia’s airBaltic ranks fifth globally with an impressive on-time rate of 90 percent. Of the top five finishers, the state-owned low-cost carrier operated the most flights (51,817) over the one-year period OAG analyzed.
Hong Kong Airlines
Hong Kong Airlines trails only South Korean low-cost carrier T’way Air in terms of annual on-time percentage measured by OAG from June 2017 through May 2018. The mainline carrier operated more than 37,700 flights over that time with 92.4 percent of them reaching their destination on schedule.
Hawaiian Airlines leads all other U.S.-based airlines in on-time performance. With an on-time rate of 87.4 percent, Hawaii’s flag carrier was the only U.S. carrier to earn five stars for ranking in the top 10 percent of all the airlines OAG analyzed.
Panama’s Copa Airlines is an excellent choice if you love your travel stress-free. The mainline carrier earned five stars from OAG for operating 88.2 percent of its nearly 122,000 flights on time.
Australia’s Qantas Airways operated the most flights of any carrier to earn five stars from OAG—263,270—and still managed to arrive on time 85.7 percent of the time.
Japan Airlines trails Qantas only slightly but operated 30,000 more flights than Australia’s flag carrier so there’s certainly no shame in its 84.5 percent on-time rate.
Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling Airlines operated more than 202,000 flights from June 2017 through May 2018 and was later than expected just 17 percent of the time.
Like many Asian carriers, Singapore Airlines routinely finds itself at the top of coveted rankings and lists. Therefore, it’s no surprise the island country’s flag carrier makes this list with an on-time arrival rate of 83.8 percent.
Azul Airlines operated more flights than most other four-star carriers but that didn’t prevent the Brazilian low-cost airline from checking in with an annual on-time percentage of 83.7.
Irish carrier Aer Lingus is on time more than eight out of 10 times, impressive considering the airline averaged over 8,600 flights per month from June 2017 through May 2018.
With an on-time rate of 84.1 percent, Alaska Airlines ranks in the top 20 worldwide. Keep in mind the carrier plans to raise checked bag fees this December.
All Nippon Airways
Nearly 84 percent of All Nippon Airways’ 453,000-plus flights from June 2017 through May 2018 reached their destination on time, earning it a respectable four stars from OAG.
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines was one of the few American carriers to earn four stars from OAG for on-time performance, arriving on schedule nearly 84 percent of the time despite operating more than 1.9 million flights over the 12-month period OAG examined.
Although United Airlines has come under fire following last year’s infamous dragging incident, the Chicago-based carrier is one of the best U.S. airlines when it comes to getting passengers to their destinations on time (80.7 percent). Of the Big Four, only Delta has fared better most recently.
India’s largest carrier by both passengers carried and fleet size, IndiGo turned in an annual on-time percentage of 82.0 this past spring. For perspective, that’s nearly 10 percent higher than Air France, which operated 23,000 fewer flights.
Only Qantas operated more flights than Qatar Airways among carriers rated five stars by OAG for on-time performance. With an annual rate of 85.5 percent, the Gulf carrier ties the next airline on this list.
Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris has had an impressive run of late when it comes to arriving right on schedule, matching Qatar Airways with an 85.5 percent rate and earning a well-deserved five stars from OAG.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Although KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ hub, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is among the world’s busiest and recorded an overall annual on-time rate of just 77.2 percent, the Netherlands flag carrier saw 81.9 percent of its flights land on schedule.
Emirates managed to sneak into OAG’s four-star tier with an on-time rate of 80.9 percent. That’s not too shabby considering the Gulf carrier operated close to 200,000 flights from June 2017 through May 2018.
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