Dubai’s Emirates airline has entered the list of the top 20 most punctual mainstream airlines, according to the latest industry research based on 2018 performance.
The data, compiled by US-based research firm OAG Aviation Worldwide Limited, defined punctuality – or on-time performance (OTP) – as flights that arrive or depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival or departure times.
“Latin American airline Copa Airlines achieves the top spot with on-time performance of 89.79 percent. Ranked 4th in the 2018 Punctuality League, the airline has improved OTP by more than 3 percentage points,” the 2019 report said.
“Copa Airlines takes the lead from airBaltic which drops into second place by a narrow margin due to a small decline in OTP for the Latvian airline.”
The top five most punctual airlines in the world were Copa Airlines (89.79 percent), airBaltic (89.17 percent), Hong Kong Airlines (88.11 percent), Hawaiian Airlines (87.52 percent) and Bangkok Airways (87.16 percent).
Emirates did not feature in the overall rankings, but it did feature in the top 20 most punctual mainline airlines (classed as airlines listed among the top 250 in the world and exclusing low-costs carriers).
“There are five new entrants among the Top 20 airlines which ranked below 20 last year. These are Bangkok Airways, LATAM Airlines Group, KLM, Siberia Airlines and Emirates,” the OAG report said.
Emirates ranked 19th on the mainline 2019 airlines list with an OTP score of 81.44 percent. Emirates declined to comment on the report.
Last week, in an interview with MEED, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline & Group, said the aviation sector in Dubai was investing heavily in technology in order to improve services.
“We are pushing technology and that technology will have to process more people, either coming in or out or in transit,” he was quoted as saying. “The focus on technology will save a lot of costs in the future.”
“Cost is very important, regardless of what you’re doing and how successful you are,” he added. “You always have to look at your costs because there is always somebody else who will come along and try to offer that service as well as you are doing for much lower cost. Those airlines will be successful.”
Investments in Dubai’s airline and airports has certainly paid off. Dubai International (DXB) in January reported that it has retained its position as the world’s busiest airport for international customer numbers for the fifth consecutive year with annual traffic for 2018 surpassing 89.1 million.
Passenger traffic at Dubai totalled 89,149,387 in 2018, a one percent increase on 2017, and ahead of London’s Heathrow, which reached the 80 million in the past 12 months.