US major Delta Air Lines is the stand out star among Americas operators in OAG’s annual “Punctuality League” report for 2017. Delta was the only large American operator taking a spot in each category were it was eligible. But Frontier Airlines deserves recognition for its operational turnaround. The US ULCC’s on time performance during 2017 out-shined Southwest, Spirit and Canada’s WestJet.
For many years, Delta has been working to distance itself from its competitors in operational performance, and OAG’s calculations show the airline’s efforts are bearing fruit.
OAG created several new categories for the 2017 report, including mega airlines, which comprise the top 20 carriers measured by scheduled flights. Delta’s 82.76% on time performance (OTP) was the third highest behind Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways in that particular category. Other Americas airlines recognised in those rankings included Alaska Airlines with a fifth place finish with an 81.06% OTP, United Airlines, which ranked seventh with a 79.86% performance and LATAM Airlines, whose 79.39% OTP was the eighth best of the rankings.
US majors American and Southwest rounded out the top 10 mega carriers in best on-time performance. American’s 78.97% OTP took the ninth spot and Southwest settled into the tenth position with an OTP of 78.55%. JetBlue and Air Canada ranked sixteenth and seventeenth, respectively, with on time performances of 71.74% and 67.32%.
Delta was the only carrier among the four largest US airlines – American, Southwest, United and Delta – to place among global mainline airlines with the best OTP. Qualifying mainline airlines must rank among the top 250 operators globally measured by ASKs and operated at least 30,000 flights in 2017. Delta’s OTP ranked eleventh among those operators. Hawaiian Airlines posted the third best performance of 87.24% and Alaska Airlines was ranked nineteenth.
Two Latin American operators made the top 20 global mainline airlines measured by OTP. Copa ranked fourth with its 86.39% OTP and Avianca Brazil placed sixteenth with an OTP of 81.44%.
Delta was also the only global North American airline recognised on OAG’s list of top the 20 airlines across all categories with the highest on time performance. The airline ranked sixteenth while Hawaiian and Copa ranked third and fourth, respectively.
Due to enhanced coverage and an extension of qualifying criteria two of the five new airlines appearing in OAG’s overall top 20 on-time airlines are based in Latin America. Brazil’s Azul ranked twelfth with an OTP of 84.14% and Volaris’ 82.13% was ranked twentieth.
Four Latin American airlines ranked in the top 10 of best on time performance among worldwide low cost airlines. Azul and Volaris ranked fifth and sixth, and Chile’s Sky Airline (which recently completed its transition to a LCC) ranked seventh with an OTP of 81.93%. GOL’s OTP of 81.73% was ranked the eighth best.
US ULCC Frontier, which has been working to improve its sluggish OTP, was ranked eleventh among worldwide LCCs in 2017, with an on time performance of 78.91%. Southwest’s OTP fell behind Frontier during 2017. The original LCC’s OTP of 78.55% was ranked thirteenth. Surprisingly, Spirit’s OTP of 76.97% was ranked fourteenth, which was better than WestJet’s OTP of 76.18%.
Frontier also featured prominently in North American airline on time performance. It ranked sixth among the top ten performers, outranking Southwest, Spirit and WestJet. Frontier’s ranking in OAG’s 2016 report was ninth with an OTP of 76.70%.
LCCs Copa, Azul, Volaris, Sky and GOL were the top five Latin Airlines measured by OTP in 2017, with statistics in that metric ranging from 81.73% to 86.39%.
Delta certainty deserves recognition for its performance in OAG’s rankings; but Frontier’s operational turnaround is also noteworthy, with 3% growth in its on time performance year-on-year in 2017.