Photo: Francesco Cecchetti/Airways

Most Punctual Airlines, Airports of February 2024

DALLAS — In today's competitive aviation industry, airlines and airports must ensure a smooth and timely travel experience. Passengers prioritize airlines and airports that consistently deliver on-time performance and stand out.

Based on data compiled by Cirium, this article explores the airlines and airports that excelled in on-time performance during February 2024. Regions categorize the airlines, whereas airports are classified by size.

N967AM Boeing 787-8 B788 AeroMexico AMS EHAM. Photo: Stephen Furst/Airways
N967AM Boeing 787-8 B788 AeroMexico AMS EHAM. Photo: Stephen Furst/Airways

Most Punctual Airlines in February 2024

For this analysis, an on-time departure is considered a flight that arrives at the gate within 15 minutes of its scheduled time. This industry standard provides a benchmark for evaluating an airline's operational efficiency and commitment to punctuality.

N205SY, United Express (Skywest) Embraer E175 @KSLC. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways
N205SY, United Express (Skywest) Embraer E175 @KSLC. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways

Global Airlines

Leading the global airlines in February 2024 is Aeromexico (AM), achieving an on-time performance (OTP) of 90.66%. This marked a significant 12.5-point increase compared to January’s performance of 78.13%, making the Mexican flag carrier a standout achiever for the month.

Hot on Aeromexico's heels is Delta Air Lines (DL), which had a commendable on-time performance of 89.27%. Iberia (IB) rounds out the global punctual airlines, demonstrating its focus on punctuality with an on-time performance of 88.08%.

United Airlines (UA) and Azul (AD) followed the above three carriers with an OTP of 84.91% and 84.83% respectively.

For the Global airlines category, Cirium considers the Top 10% of all passenger airlines by Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs), flights, and seats. Moreover, the airline must also serve at least three regions.

N504DN Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-900. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways
N504DN Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-900. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways

North American Airlines

DL maintained its dominance among North American carriers, achieving an OTP of 89.27%, marking nearly a 10-point surge from the previous month. In February, North American carriers witnessed an improvement in OTP due to a significant 77% reduction in canceled flights.  

Following closely behind is UA, with an on-time departure rate of 84.91%. American Airlines (AA) rounds out the major airlines in the region, achieving an on-time performance of 84.43%.

9V-SKW Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800 A388 JFK KJFK. Photo: Francesco Cecchetti/Airways

Asia Pacific Airlines

Singapore Airlines (SQ) emerged as the Asia Pacific (APAC) leader with an on-time performance of 84.12% in February 2024. SQ was followed by All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Cathay Pacific (CX) with an OTP of 82.85% and 82.03% respectively.

Additionally, the APAC region experienced a significant 21% decrease in canceled flights compared to January 2024.

Austrian Airlines OE-LAZ Boeing 767-300(ER)
Austrian Airlines OE-LAZ Boeing 767-300(ER) | Photo: Sean Brink/Airways

European Airlines

In Europe, Austrian Airlines (OS) retained its position at the top with an OTP of 92.96%, highlighting improvement over the previous month. Iberia Express (I2) follows closely behind with an OTP of 90.15%. Aegean Airlines (A3), ITA Airways (AZ), and Vueling (VY) also secured higher OTP in the region, with an average OTP of over 90% among these five.

February witnessed considerable OTP enhancements across most airlines in Europe, accompanied by a 7% decrease in canceled flights.

FlySafair ZS-SJG Boeing 737-800 MRU FIMP. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways
FlySafair ZS-SJG Boeing 737-800MRU FIMP. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Middle East, African Airlines

Despite a slight decrease in OTP for most airlines, the Middle East & Africa region witnessed a notable 35% reduction in canceled flights in February.

Safair (FA) emerged as the regional leader with an impressive OTP of 93.96%, followed by Oman Air (WY), and Gulf Air (GF). FA led both the Middle East & Africa region and the Low-Cost Carrier category last month.

Copa Airlines is one of United Airlines' closest allies, thanks to its strategic position in Central America and Star Alliance membership. Photo: Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways.

Latin American Airlines

Latin America also experienced a 35% reduction in flight cancellations in February, with Copa Airlines (CM) emerging as the region’s most punctual airline with an OTP of 91.66%.

Aeromexico (AM) and Caribbean Airlines (BW) follow closely behind, achieving an on-time performance of 90.66% and 87.94%, respectively.

EC-LLE Iberia Express Airbus A320. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways
EC-LLE Iberia Express Airbus A320. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways

Low-Cost Carriers

Low-cost carriers (LCC) increasingly focus on on-time performance to compete effectively. In February 2024, Safair (FA), a South African low-cost carrier, topped the category with an exceptional on-time performance of 93.96%.

Iberia Express (I2), a Spanish low-cost carrier, follows closely behind with an OTP of 90.15%. Yet another Spanish carrier, Vueling (VY) rounded off the LCC category with an on-time performance of 89.11%.

PLAY Airlines began operating from IAD in April 2023 using Airbus A320 family aircraft. Photo: PLAY Airlines

Most Punctual Airports in February 2024

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) led the global airports in on-time performance in February 2024, with an on-time departure rate of 89.95%.

Vienna International Airport (VIE) is closely behind, with an on-time departure rate of 89.39%. The podium is completed by Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), maintaining its reputation for reliability with an on-time departure rate of 89.04%.

Atlanta International Airport. Photo: ATL
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Photo: Atlanta Airport

Large Airports

Among large airports, Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) once again clinched the top spot with an on-time departure rate of 89.95%, with VIE and DTW rounding out the top three.

Cirium has categorized airports by percentile, and a large airport serves between the 75th and 100th percentile by total flights served in a month, with an actual gate departure coverage of 80% or better.

N27519 United Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX KPDX PDX. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways
N27519 United Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX KPDX PDX. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Medium Airports

In the medium airports category, Tocumen International Airport (PTY) emerges as the frontrunner with an on-time departure rate of 93.88%. 

Moreover, Japan’s Osaka International Airport (ITM) and Brasilia International Airport (BSB) also performed well, with on-time departure rates of 89.99% and 88.89%, respectively.

A medium airport serves between the 50th and 75th percentile by total flights served in a month. These airports typically serve between 15,000,000 and 25,000,000 travelers annually.

Vueling Airbus A321 (EC-MPV) at Ibiza Airport (IBZ). Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways.

Small Airports

Among small airports worldwide, Rhodes Airport (RHO) in Greece claimed the top spot with an impressive on-time departure rate of 96.30%. 

Following closely behind is Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA), which maintained an on-time departure rate of 93.39% in February 2024. El Salvador International Airport (SAL) also maintained an on-time departure rate of 93.02%.

A small airport serves between the 25th and 50th percentile by total flights served in a month, with an actual gate departure coverage of 80% or better.

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