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Iberia named as Europe’s most punctual airline in 2022

Spanish carrier Iberia had the best on time performance (OTP) of all major European airlines in 2022, according to airline analyst Cirium.

Iberia, which is part of International Airlines Group (IAG), recorded an OTP of 85.9 per cent, just ahead of fellow Spanish airline Air Europa (84.1 per cent) and Iberia’s own low-cost subsidiary Iberia Express (83.8 per cent). Another IAG-owned Spanish carrier Vueling had the fourth best OTP in Europe at 82 per cent.

In Europe, Austria Airlines was the best placed non-Spanish carrier for OTP last year (82 per cent), followed by Norwegian, ITA Airways, Finnair and LOT Polish Airlines. 

Flights are classified as being on-time if they reach the airport gate within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time.

Globally, the airlines with the best OTP were Brazilian carrier Azul (88.9 per cent), Air Nippon Airways (ANA) at 88.6 per cent and Japan Airlines (JAL) at 88 per cent.

Madrid’s Barajas airport was Europe’s best performer for on-time flights with 79.8 per cent, which ranked it as the 13th most punctual airport globally. The only other European airport in the top 20 for OTP was Oslo in Norway, which was in 19th place (77.6 per cent). 

Tokyo’s Haneda was the top airport for punctuality at 90.3 per cent, followed by Kempegowda International in Bengaluru, India, at 84.1 per cent and Salt Lake City in the US (83.9 per cent).

Cirium’s figures show that airlines globally operated 31 million scheduled flights in 2022, up by 26 per cent on 2021, with seat capacity rising by 32 per cent over the same period. 

But the global aviation industry remains well below pre-pandemic levels with flight departures down by 19 per cent on 2019 services, with total flights in the fourth quarter of 2022 still 16 per cent lower than during the same period three years ago.

European flights remained 25 per cent down in 2022 compared with 2019’s services but this did not translate into better OTP as the sector struggled to rebuild its capabilities following the pandemic.

“Less traffic means less congestion at most airports and generally more favourable conditions for on-time arrivals,” said Cirium in its analysis of the European market. 

“However, nothing in commercial aviation is quite so simple, especially given the set of conditions that resulted from the combination of a pandemic, war and political violence, inflation, energy shortages and international sanctions on Russia. 

“Staffing problems have been a major impediment to smooth operations during the recovery, including three to four-hour security wait times at some major airports, fewer crews available to cover expanding schedules, understaffed airside services etc.”

Cirium’s global rankings include carriers that are among the top 10 per cent of passenger airlines in terms of available seat kilometres (ASKs), flights and seats and that serve at least three global regions. The firm also ranks carriers regionally, including those that do not meet all those criteria.

Source: Business Travel News Europe