Lonely Planet Writer

The most punctual airlines in the world have been revealed

A delayed flight can be a major frustration for travellers – causing missed connections, long waits and even cutting in to your holiday time. Luckily, a new list of the world’s most punctual airlines will help you make an educated guess about what carrier will get you to your destination on time.

These airlines will help get you to your destination on time. Image by izusek/Getty Images

The report from the OAG Punctuality League tracks the best on-time performance for airlines and airports in 2017. When it comes to major airlines, Japan Airlines had the best on-time performance last year, with 85.27% of flights arriving on schedule. It was followed by fellow Japanese airline All Nippon Airways, with US carrier Delta coming in third, followed by IndiGo and Alaska Airlines.

However, a Latvian carrier came first on the overall list, which included carriers that were ranked among the top 250 based on available seat kilometres that operated more than 30,000 scheduled flights in 2017. The category means a number of smaller airlines are in the running for the top rankings, and many were able to beat their larger competitors. For instance, airBaltic ranked first with a 90.01% on-time performance rate. It was followed by Hong Kong Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Copa Airlines and Qantas. In the overall ranking, major carrier Japan Airlines dropped into sixth place.

Find out what airports will help get you to your destination on time. Image by DuKai photographer/Getty Images

If you’re an avid budget flyer who still doesn’t want to get caught up in annoying delays, then your best bet is the Spanish low-cost airline Vueling, which has a punctuality rate of 85.25%. The top five also includes Jetstar Asia, Skymark Airlines, Transavia, and Azul.

But, it’s important to note that airports can also play a role in whether you flight gets underway on time. Thankfully, the rankings also include the best airports for ensuring that flights operate within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival and departure times. When dealing with the world’s biggest airports, Tokyo Haneda, Madrid, Atlanta, Denver, and Dallas-Fort Worth, are the safest bets for leaving on time.