OAG Aviation has released its Punctuality report for 2019.
The report is based on 58 million flight records from 2018, creating a ranking of the best on-time performance (OTP) for the world’s largest airlines.
OAG’s definition of on-time performance (OTP) is flights that arrive or depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival/departure times.
Latin American airline, Copa Airlines, achieved the top spot with an on-time performance of 89.79%. Ranked fourth in the 2018 Punctuality League, the airline has improved OTP by more than 3 percentage points.
Copa Airlines took the lead from airBaltic which dropped into second place by a narrow margin due to a small decline in OTP for the Latvian airline.
The top five was rounded up by Hong Kong Airlines (88.11%), Hawaiian Airlines (87.52%), and Bangkok Airways (87.16%).
Notably, South African low-cost carrier, Mango, featured at 19th on the list with an OTP of 82.88%.
Mango was also named as the most punctual airline in Africa, with no other South African airlines featuring in the top five.
The International Air Transport Association predicts that economic growth and a swelling middle class will help double the number of global air passengers to 8.2 billion in 2037.
More than half of those fliers are expected to come from the Asia-Pacific region, propelled by demand from countries such as China and India.
A preliminary report by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization estimates that about 4.3 billion passengers travelled by air last year – 6.1% more than in 2017.
This means that the world’s airlines filled a record 81.9% of their seats in 2018.
With reporting from Bloomberg.