Japanese Airports and Airlines Prominent in On-Time Rankings

 - January 7, 2019, 9:50 AM
Japan Airlines ranked first for on-time arrivals among the world’s large airlines in 2018. (Photo: Masakatsu Ukon/Creative Commons 2.0)

Japanese airports ranked first, second, and fourth among large airports globally for on-time departures in 2018 and the nation’s two biggest carriers came first and third among the world’s large airlines for on-time arrivals, according to an analysis of 2018 on-time performance for all passenger flights by China-based flight data services company VariFlight.

Defining large airports as those with more than 6,000 actual departures monthly by commercial passenger flights and large airlines as those with more than 400 daily passenger-flight arrivals, VariFlight found that Itami Airport in Osaka ranked as the world’s top large airport for on-time departures to within 30 minutes of scheduled departure time. With 86,142 actual passenger-flight departures in 2018 (the analysis excluded all canceled flights), Itami achieved a 93.87 percent on-time departure rate.

Close behind, in second place, Japan’s New Chitose Airport, saw 92.3 percent of 93,617 departures leave on time. While Honolulu Airport (with 86,933 passenger-flight departures) ranked third with 88.29 percent departing on time, Tokyo’s Haneda Airport achieved an impressive 86.75 percent on-time departure rate to rank fourth, even though it recorded 284,450 passenger-flight takeoffs, more than three times as many as any of the top three large airports.

VariFlight’s analysis of airline on-time arrival performance in 2018 ranks Oneworld member Japan Airlines as the top large airline globally. JAL—which recorded 313,785 passenger-flight arrivals during the year—achieved a 95.83 percent on-time arrival rate to within 30 minutes of schedule.

With 190,982 passenger-flight arrivals in 2018, Qatar Airways claimed second place in the ranking by achieving a 95.51 percent on-time arrival rate. However, Qatar only edged out ANA—easily Japan’s largest airline in terms of flight arrivals—for second place by 0.01 of a percentage point;  95.5 percent of ANA’s 468,338 arrivals during the year reached the gate within 30 minutes of their scheduled arrival times.

Other key data points from the analysis showed that Panama’s Copa Airlines—a Star Alliance member—ranked top in 2018 among all large and mid-sized carriers (those with 200 to 400 arrivals daily), with a 97.31 on-time rate for 131,479 arrivals. Oneworld had the best on-time performance of any alliance in 2018, as its members achieved a combined 90.51 percent on-time rate on 4,770,596 arrivals.

Tianjin Airlines, which recorded an 86.14 percent on-time rate over 131,104 arrivals, ranked as the top large carrier in mainland China. That country’s largest carrier, China Southern Airlines, achieved an 85.56 percent on-time rate on 799,442 arrivals.