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The Most On-Time Airlines and Airports of 2023

Aviation analytics firm Cirium has released the results of its global 2023 On-Time Performance Review.

An Avianca 787 Dreamliner coming in to land. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Avianca has taken the top spot in a global aviation analytics firm’s 2023 On-Time Performance Review. In its annual punctuality evaluation, Cirium examines on-time performance among airlines and airports around the world and highlights the top performers.

The Most Punctual Airlines Around the World

Avianca took the top spot among global airlines, with an on-time arrival rate of 85.73%. The Colombian carrier was followed closely by Azul Airlines and Qatar Airways, with Delta Air Lines and Iberia rounding out the top five. Cirium considers an on-time flight to be one that arrives within 15 minutes of its scheduled gate arrival time.

Top performer Avianca has faced many challenges in recent years and was applauded by Cirium’s Senior Director of Advanced Initiatives, David White. “Avianca succeeded in reinventing itself following its emergence from bankruptcy in December 2021 with a plan to modernize its fleet, improve customer satisfaction, increase operational efficiency, and to help fill the void left by the cessation of operations by low-cost Columbian carrier Viva,” White wrote in Cirium’s report. “Avianca embodies the qualities necessary to thrive in challenging times – agility, adaptability, resilience, determination, and a clear strategic vision.”

The most punctual airlines span the globe, representing four regions out of the five defined by the company: Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Latin America, and North America. To be classified as a global airline, Cirium requires that a carrier be within the top 10% of passenger airlines by capacity and volume and that it serve at least three of the five regions.

The only region not represented in the top five was the Asia Pacific region, where All Nippon Airways was the most punctual airline with 82.75% of its flights arriving on time. When compared to 2022 figures, the Tokyo-based airline fell five spots in the global rankings – from second place to seventh place – with a nearly 6% drop in on-time arrivals.

2023’s Most Punctual Airports

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was the most on-time global airport in Cirium’s report. The Delta hub served 157 routes throughout the year and had an on-time departure rate of 84.44%. Two Indian airports – Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad and Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore – took the second and third place spots, respectively. Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport was fourth on the list and Salt Lake City International Airport was in fifth place.

Cirium categorizes airports by passenger volume into global, large, medium, and small airports. The passenger volume requirements for the global and large airport categories are the same but airports must serve at least three regions to be in the global category.

Since airports can be in both the global and large airport categories, there was significant overlap in the rankings for these two categories. The only notable difference was the presence of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in the sixth spot on the large airport category list, with an on-time performance of 83.20%. The centrally located airport in Washington, D.C. only has domestic routes and a small number of international markets from airports with preclearance facilities, meaning that it did not meet the three-region requirement to be considered a global airport.

Airports across the United States performed well within the global and large airports categories, with Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, and Philadelphia International Airport also making the top ten lists for both categories. Osaka International Airport – more commonly referred to Itami Airport – ranked first among medium airports and Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador took the top spot in the small airports category.

Andrew Chen


  • Andrew Chen

    Andrew is a lifelong lover of aviation and travel. He has flown all over the world and is fascinated by the workings of the air travel industry. As a private pilot and glider pilot who has worked with airlines, airports and other industry stakeholders, he is always excited to share his passion for aviation with others. In addition to being a writer, he also hosts Flying Smarter, an educational travel podcast that explores the complex world of air travel to help listeners become better-informed and savvier travelers.

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