World's most punctual airlines named: Most reliable on-time airlines

Indonesia's flagship carrier Garuda Airlines has been named the world's most punctual airline, while Australia's major airports have crept into the top 20 for on-time performance (OTP).

A report by global travel data firm OAG has found Garuda topped the list of most reliable airlines, with 95 per cent of its flights operating within 15 minutes of schedule.

The top 10 airlines, out of the world's largest 250, were Garuda, Copa Airlines, Skymark Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, LATAM Airlines Group, Aeroflot, All Nippon Airways, Jetstar Asia, Singapore Airlines and Thai AirAsia.

Factors which weigh down an airline's on-time performance include weather, technical problems, congestion and maintenance problems.

Qantas was 18th on the list, with just under 83 per cent of flights classified as on-time.

The result for Garuda is the latest positive news for the airline, which had a poor reputation last decade after several safety incidents, most notably the 2007 crash of a Boeing 737 at Yogyakarta airport that killed 21 people, including five Australians.

Until 2009, the airline was on the European Union's "blacklist" of airlines not allowed to fly to member states over safety concerns.

Since then, the airline has made dramatic improvements, including introducing new aircraft, and was ranked the world's 12th best airline in the annual World Airline Awards in 2019. The airline was also ranked No.2 for the best cabin crew, behind Singapore Airlines.

The OAG report broke down airport punctuality by the size of the airport. Perth (4th, 83.6 per cent) and Adelaide (8th, 82.4 per cent) made the top 10 for medium-sized airports. Brisbane rated the 13th most punctual large airport with 82 per cent of flights on-time. Sydney (18th, 74 per cent) and Melbourne (19th, 73.8 per cent) snuck into the top 20 for major airports, while no Australian airports were large enough to be compared in the report's "mega airport" category.


The comprehensive report is based on 57.7 million flight records.

Domestically, 79.4 per cent of flights arrived on time in 2018-19, based on Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development numbers. Qantas (80.1 per cent) and Virgin Australia (79.9 per cent) had almost identical punctuality, while budget carriers Jetstar (75.5 per cent) and Tiger (68.1 per cent) brought down the average.

Top 10 most punctual airlines in 2019:

1. Garuda Indonesia 95.1 per cent

2. Copa Airways 92.01

3. Skymark Airlines 90.12

4. Hawaiian 87.4

5. LATAM 86.41

6. Aeroflot 86.3

7. All Nippon Airways 85.92

8. Jetstar Asia 85.48,

9. Singapore Airlines 85.32

10. Thai AirAsia 84.49

In our region:

18. Qantas 82.96

24. Air New Zealand 81.03

77. Jetstar 73.23

See also: Airline review: Garuda's crew live up to the hype

See also: World's best airline for 2019 named as Qantas soars into top 10