Best Airlines for On-Time Performance

Christine Sarkis, February 04, 2015
Fares from Washington DC:

    What airlines are most likely to deliver you to the gate within 15 minutes of your scheduled arrival time? FlightStats has taken its annual look at the major airlines in the U.S. and around the world with the highest percentage of flights on time. Here are the details.

    North America

    Alaska Airlines topped the list with an 87 percent on-time record, beating out Delta, Virgin America, US Airways, Air Canada, West Jet, JetBlue, Frontier, American, and Southwest.


    Finnair beat out nine major European airlines with its impressive 90 percent on-time record. Close behind (and more relevant to North Americans flying to Europe), KLM had a 88 percent on-time record (making this second-place finisher on time more often than Alaska, North America's top-rated on-time airline).


    Japan Airlines (JAL) beat out Air New Zealand, ANA, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia, Qantas, IndiGo, Korean Air, Jetstar, and Jet Airways with an on-time record of 87 percent. Fun fact: With an 81 percent on-time rating, lowest-ranked Jet Airways would still have made the top four in the North American airline rankings. 

    Latin America

    Copa had the best on-time performance, with a 90 percent on-time record. The airline beat out LAN, Gol, TAM, Aeromexico, AVIANCA, and Aerolineas Argentinas.

    Middle East and Africa

    Saudia was top in this category, with an 87 percent on-time rating. It beat out Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Pegasus, EgyptAir, and Flydubai.


    This category looked at low-cost carriers around the world. With on-time performance of 93 percent, Iberia Express beat out big-name LCCs including easyJet.  The only American carrier in the finalist group was Virgin America, with an 82 percent on-time rating (compare that to JetBlue's 77 percent and Southwest's 74 percent and it starts to look pretty good).

    Airline Alliance

    On-time performance matters when you've got a codeshare connection in another country. OneWorld, with a not-terribly-impressive 79 percent on-time rating, beat out Star Alliance (77 percent on-time) and SkyTeam (76 percent on-time).

    Ed Perkins on Travel is copyright (c) 2015 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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    This article was published by SmarterTravel under the title The Best Airlines for On-Time Performance Might Surprise You.  Follow Christine Sarkis on Google+ or email her at

    (Photo: Alaska Airlines)