The world's most punctual airlines and airports revealed

World’s most punctual airlines and airports revealed: Aeroflot is the most on-time carrier overall, Virgin Atlantic is top in the UK, Delta is No1 in the U.S and Moscow’s Sheremetyevo is the most on-schedule airport

  • More than 100,000 flights around the world were tracked each day in 2019 
  • Flight is deemed on time if it reaches gate within 15 minutes of its arrival time
  • Airport on-time performance is measured by on-time departing flights 

Russia’s Aeroflot has been named as the world’s most on-time mainline airline in 2019 in a new report.

It beat Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), which came second, and Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, which came third and is the highest-ranked U.S airline. Virgin Atlantic is the UK’s most on-schedule carrier.

Meanwhile, Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport is named as the world’s most punctual airport.

Russia’s Aeroflot has been named as the world’s most on-time mainline airline in 2019 in a new report by travel data firm Cirium 

The report, the On-Time Performance Review, has been released by travel data and analytics firm Cirium.

It tracks over 100,000 flights around the world each day and bases its 2019 analysis on an 80 per cent coverage requirement.

According to Cirium, an airline’s flight is on time if the aircraft arrives at the gate within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.

Cirium ranked both mainline flights – those operated by a major airline – and network flights – those that are both flown by a major airline and those marketed by them but operated by a separate carrier.

Airport on-time performance is measured by on-time departing flights.

Top-ranked mainline airline Aeroflot saw 86.7 per cent of its flights operating on time during 2019, the data showed.

All Nippon Airways saw 86.3 per cent of its flights operating on time, while Delta Air Lines saw 85.7 per cent of services arriving on time.

In fourth place is Azul Brazilian Airlines on 83.5 per cent followed by Japan Airlines on 82.2 per cent.

Second place All Nippon Airways, pictured, saw 86.3 per cent of its flights operating on time

The most punctual US airline and third most on-time overall is Delta Air Lines. Data shows 85.7 per cent of services arrived on time in 2019 


 Mainline airlines  

1. Aeroflot – 86.7% of flights on time

2. All Nippon Airways – 86.3%

3. Delta Air Lines – 85.7%

4. Azul Brazilian Airlines – 83.5%

5. Japan Airlines – 82.2%

6. Alitalia – 82%

7. Air France – 81.1%

8. Emirates – 81.02%

9. Korean Air – 80.3%

10. SAS – 79.9%

Low-cost airlines

1. StarFlyer – 91.4% of flights on time

2. Air Do – 90.42% 

3.Solaseed Air – 88.05%

4. Iberia Express – 87.05%

5. Viva Air Colombia – 86.94%

6. Sky Airline – 85.53%

7. Jetstar Asia – 85.22%

8. Thai Air Asia – 83.74%

9. Azul – 83.53%

10. Air Baltic – 83.5%

Source: Cirium 

The rest of the top 10 is made up of Alitalia (sixth, 82 per cent), Air France (seventh, 81.1 per cent), Emirates (eighth, 81.02 per cent), Korean Air (ninth, 80.3 per cent) and SAS (10th, 79.9 per cent).

Cirium’s data shows that for best ranked UK-based airline Virgin Atlantic, 78.23 per cent of its flights were on time.

For British Airways, 76.98 per cent of its flights were on time, while 76.84 per cent of Ryanair’s flights were punctual as were 73.78 per cent of easyJet’s flights, according to the data.

In the network airline category, Latin American airline LATAM clinches the top spot with 86.7 per cent of flights in its network arriving on time.

It is followed by All Nippon Airways (second, 86.49 per cent), Delta (third, 84.63 per cent), Japan Airlines (fourth, 84.47 per cent) and Iberia (fifth, 84.24 per cent).

The best ranked UK airline is Virgin Atlantic as 78.23 per cent of its flights were on time

A separate ranking has also been drawn up for the most punctual low-cost carriers of 2019 with Japanese airline StarFlyer coming top.

The data shows that 91.4 per cent of its flights arrived on schedule.

In second place is fellow Japanese carrier Air Do on 90.42 per cent followed by another Japanese airline, Solaseed Air, in third on 88.05 per cent.

Coming fourth is Iberia Express with 87.05 per cent of its flights on time and fifth is Viva Air Colombia with 86.94 per cent of its services on schedule.

The rest of the top 10 is made up of Sky Airline (sixth, 85.53 per cent), Jetstar Asia (seventh, 85.22 per cent), Thai Air Asia (eighth, 83.74 per cent), Azul (ninth, 83.53 per cent) and Air Baltic (10th, 83.5 per cent).

When it came to airports, top-ranked Sheremetyevo saw 95.01 per cent of its flights leave on time.

The most punctual low-cost carrier is Japanese airline StarFlyer. Data shows 91.4 per cent of its flights arrived on schedule

In second place is Guangzhou Baiyun International on 92.52 per cent followed by Shanghai Pudong International on 91.04 per cent, Kunming Changshui International on 90.72 per cent and Beijing Capital International on 89.15 per cent.

Also in the top 10 is Shenzhen Bao’an International (sixth, 88.94 per cent), Xianyang International (seventh, 88.73 per cent), Chongqing Jiangbei International (eighth, 88.49 per cent), Haneda (ninth, 88.1 per cent) and Salt Lake City International (10th, 88.05 per cent).

The rest of the top 20 is made up of Chengdu Shuangliu International (11th, 87.27 per cent), Minneapolis-St. Paul International (12th, 86.84 per cent), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (13th, 86.52 per cent), Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (14th, 86.08 per cent), Washington Dulles International (15th, 85.27 per cent), Hong Kong International (16th, 84.90 per cent), Miami International (17th, 84.76 per cent), Philadelphia International (18th, 84.36 per cent), Charlotte Douglas International (19th, 83.96 per cent) and Oslo Airport Gardermoen (20th, 83.62 per cent).

Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, pictured, is named as the world’s most punctual airport

The second most punctual airport is named as Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport in China

Jeremy Bowen, Cirium CEO, said: ‘We apply the highest level of data analysis to form our On-Time Performance Review and we’re delighted to announce that Aeroflot surpassed other leading airlines as the world’s most on-time mainline airline.

‘Looking at the Russian carrier’s past year it’s clear that as Aeroflot has more controls in place over their environment than most, that helps enormously to drive operational efficiency. Russia’s successful year continues with Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International airport also winning the top spot as the most punctual airport.

‘Airlines and airports which consistently operate on time and go that extra mile for their customers deserve to be recognised in an increasingly competitive environment and should be justifiably proud of reaching such a world-class industry standard.

‘Achieving world-class customer satisfaction and industry-leading product differentiation is about more than just competitively priced tickets and flight availability.

‘When choosing who to fly with, savvy travellers also now consider airline punctuality and operational reliability.

‘We believe Cirium’s On-Time Performance Review 2019 will inspire airlines and airports to continue innovating to improve their performance. By embracing digital transformation and leveraging data to its full potential, Cirium can help the aviation industry harness its power to improve on-time performance and enhance the passenger experience.’ 


1. Moscow Sheremetyevo – 95.01% of flights on left on time

2. Guangzhou Baiyun International – 92.52%

3. Shanghai Pudong International – 91.04%

4. Kunming Changshui International – 90.72%

5. Beijing Capital – 89.15%

6. Shenzhen Bao’an International – 88.94%

7. Xianyang International – 88.73%

8. Chongqing Jiangbei International – 88.49%

9. Haneda International – 88.1%

10. Salt Lake City International – 88.05%

11. Chengdu Shuangliu International – 87.27%

12. Minneapolis-St. Paul International – 86.84%

13. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta – 86.52%

14. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County – 86.08%

15. Washington Dulles International Airport – 85.27%

16. Hong Kong International – 84.90%

17. Miami International – 84.76%

18. Philadelphia International – 84.36%

19. Charlotte Douglas International – 83.96%

20. Oslo Airport Gardermoen – 83.62%

Source: Cirium  

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