Press Release: US airlines shine in on-time performance, OAG finds


OAG, a leading provider of travel data and insight, has released the results of its annual Punctuality League 2019, the industry’s most comprehensive ranking of on-time performance (OTP) for the world’s largest airlines and airports. U.S. airlines dominated the global rankings, finishing with five of the top 10 most punctual Mega Airlines in the world: Delta Air Lines (4), Alaska Airlines (5), Southwest Airlines (7), United Airlines (8) and American Airlines (9).

“Global on-time performance continues to be strong across the board. Many airlines and airports have made significant investment in infrastructure and transparency over the past decade and the results are paying off”

Hawaiian Airlines kept its first-place ranking among North American airlines for a fifth straight year, with an almost unchanged OTP of 87.5 percent, and placed fourth overall in the global rankings. U.S. low-cost carriers (LCC), including Spirit (OTP 80.8 percent) and Southwest (OTP 78.2 percent) moved up the rankings, placing fourth and fifth for the region, and ninth and 13th for global LCCs, respectively. JetBlue placed 16th in the Mega Airline category (OTP 71.4 percent).

“The low-cost carriers in North America continue to step up their game and invest in punctuality. Southwest Airline’s strategy to focus on secondary airports is especially noteworthy, as it continues to positively impact its OTP. The carrier owns a large share of activity at the airports it flies in and out of, which creates more control and flexibility over daily operations. Out of the 86 airports Southwest services, it has more than a 10 percent share at 39 locations and over 40 percent share at 14 locations,” said John Grant, senior analyst with OAG.

Delta Air Lines retains its second-place ranking in North America for a second straight year with an OTP of 83.1 percent. “Delta continues to be a shining example for other airlines when it comes to OTP. Their performance is especially noteworthy considering the size and scale of their operation,” added John Grant.

Globally, airports in the U.S. performed strongly, with at least two finishing in the top five for each of the Large, Major and Mega Airport categories. Honolulu (HNL; OTP 87.7 percent) was second in OTP behind Japan’s Osaka (ITM; OTP 88.2 percent) in the Large Airports category and Salt Lake City (SLC; OTP 85.9 percent) ranked fourth. Seven of the Top 20 airports in the Mega Category are in North America, including Atlanta (ATL; OTP 82.2 percent), Denver (DEN; OTP 80.7 percent) and Los Angeles (LAX; OTP 80.0 percent). The Top 20 Major Airport category featured 11 U.S. airports including Minneapolis International Airport (MSP; OTP 84.0 percent) and Detroit (DTW; OTP 83.8 percent), ranking third and fourth, respectively.

“Global on-time performance continues to be strong across the board. Many airlines and airports have made significant investment in infrastructure and transparency over the past decade and the results are paying off,” said Grant. “As an industry, we’ve never been better equipped to maximize OTP and avoid severe delays.”

The OAG Punctuality League is derived from the most comprehensive airline schedules database in the world and is the most transparent global benchmark for the world’s airlines and airports. This year’s report is based on over 58 million flight records using full year data from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018.

To qualify for inclusion in the OAG Punctuality League, the OAG schedules database must have data for at least 80 percent of all scheduled flights operated by an airline or for an airport. OAG’s definition of on-time performance (OTP) is flights that arrive or depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival/departure times.

For more insights from the OAG Punctuality League 2019, download a copy of the full report.


About OAG

OAG is a leading global travel data provider, that has been powering the growth and innovation of the air travel ecosystem since 1929.

Every day, we support millions of journeys across the globe, enabling a simpler, seamless and more enjoyable travel experience. With the world’s largest network of schedules and status data, and leading-edge analytics tools, we enable our customers to make smarter decisions, better adapt to change and create exceptional customer experiences.

We partner with some of the biggest global brands, airports, airlines, travel operators and fast-growing start-ups to design the best services available today, and the finest innovations of tomorrow.

Headquartered in the UK, OAG has global operations in the USA, Singapore, Japan, Lithuania and China.