Etihad Airways is the regional airline most likely to get you to your destination on time, according to new statistics.
Global travel data provider OAG named the UAE's national carrier as the "most punctual airline in the Middle East and among the most reliable in the world" in its 2023 Punctuality League, which rates the airlines' performances last year. The airline league rates arrival data only.
Etihad comes in at 19 in the global study, with Emirates just behind at 20.
OAG defines punctuality as arriving within 15 minutes of its scheduled time, known as its OTP or "on-time performance" in the study.
Etihad achieved an on-time arrival performance of 81.14 per cent and Emirates scored 81.13 per cent.
Etihad's cancellation rate came in at 0.55 per cent. In 2019, when the survey was last completed, it scored 83.4 per cent, ranked at number 18.
Emirates had a cancellation rate of 0.2 per cent. In 2019, the Dubai airline scored 79.47 per cent and was ranked 34.
Mohammed Al Bulooki, chief operating officer of Etihad Airways, says: “Our commitment to our guests, flying for business or leisure, is that Etihad delivers to its schedule; the airline continues to strive to increase its reliability through the efforts of its people and the deployment of technology and innovation.”
Garuda Indonesia is the top-ranked airline, with an OTP of 95.63 per cent, followed by South African low-cost airline Safair (OTP 95.3 per cent) and German low-cost carrier Eurowings (OTP 95.26 per cent). The top five is completed by Thai AirAsia (OTP 92.33 per cent) and Jeju Air (91.84 per cent).
Regionally, Gulf Air scored 79.92 per cent, Qatar Airways scored 77.5 per cent and Saudia scored 65.63 per cent.
OAG also ranks airports in its study, basing data on both departures and arrivals.
Japanese airports dominate the top 10, with seven entries. Osaka International Airport was named the most punctual airport in the world with 91.45 per cent of flights arriving and departing on time. Also in Japan, Matsuyama Airport came in second with an OTP of 91.44 per cent and Miyazaki Airport came in third with 91.34 per cent. Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya, Japan came fourth, Kagoshima Airport came sixth, Kumamoto Airport came seventh and Fukuoka Airport came 10th.
Away from Japan, Durban's King Shaka International Airport in South Africa was the fifth most punctual, Pinto Martins — Fortaleza International Airport in Brazil was eighth and Tocumen International Airport Panama was the ninth.
There are no North American or European airports in the top 20.
Etihad’s home base, Abu Dhabi International Airport, also placed in the top five most punctual airports in the Middle East.