Up to 20% of European flights are ruined by a cancellation or delay, but according to OAG, those travelling with airBaltic are 90% safe. Latvian carrier seems to be the exception to the rule, as the majority of other European airlines had about a quarter of their flights to arrive behind the schedule. The annual OAG report, highlighting airlines with their timekeeping results in 2017, was a pleasant surprise for the league leaders and hopefully a wake-up call for carriers with shoddy time management.
Punctuality is one of the main measures signalling the effectiveness and quality of any carrier. The leading global provider of digital flight information OAG has analysed full-year data from 57 million flight records. Featuring airlines for which it has data covering at least 80% of all departures, 2018 OAG report is missing some notable carriers like Ryanair. But knowing airline’s record of massive cancellations for the last half a year, the figures don’t seem to be promising. Nevertheless, even without Ryanair OAG punctuality league is considered to be one of the most extensive data in the world.
Accepting up to 15 minutes delays as on-time arrival, the report has demonstrated some perplexing results. According to Business Insider, Japan, Germany and Switzerland are the most punctual nations in the world. Yet while Japanese airlines have proved its place among such, Germany seems to be lacking the skill, at least in flight time management. The largest German airline Lufthansa has reached a 76% punctuality score meaning that almost 1 of 4 of all carrier’s flights have been behind the schedule. Only two European airlines of the same size have shown better results with British Airways scoring 78% and Scandinavian SAS reaching 80% of all flights arriving on time.
Sadly, a number of major European carriers like Air France, Turkish Airlines and EasyJet could not boast the same. On the bright side, top 10 European carriers by on-time performance, or OTP, came second in the timekeeping competition against other world regions as defined by IATA. The top carriers with an average score of around 80% have lost the battle only to the Asian Pacific airlines, where the aviation industry is accelerating the most.
“Punctuality is the main attribute of satisfaction to many travellers thus it’s only natural that European carriers are doing their best to secure a place in a fragmented and considerably small market. Nevertheless, it’s a shame seeing such market giants like Lufthansa, Air France and Turkish Airlines having their OTP score below 80%. Together they serve over 250 million passengers per year and with 24% flights being late, these businesses disrupt plans for around 60 million travellers. Those whose flights were delayed for more than 3 hours, should already be informed by the airlines about their right to up to €600 flight compensations,” says Marius Stonkus, the CEO of global flight compensation company SKYCOP.
Looking back at 2017, European aviation has gone through a few major issues that led to massive cancellations and delays. Starting from British Airlines IT failure to French air-traffic controllers strike and ending with massive Ryanair cancellations, in total all these failures have paralyzed travels for more than 1 million passengers last year. Based on the fact that only 5 % of claims takes straight to the airline are successful, there might be over 950 thousand travellers still waiting for their flight compensations ranging from €250 to €600.