ANYONE stuck reading this while waiting for a delayed flight should take note: next time fly via Bristol Airport.
The small airport serving the southwest England port city has emerged as the world’s most punctual aviation hub in 2014, outperforming some of the biggest destinations on the planet.
With connections to Europe and north Africa, Bristol managed to get 94.4 per cent of its flights on or off the ground within 15 minutes of schedule, according to stats from UK-based aviation data monitors OAG.
It’s a figure that might discomfit officials at the main airports serving London — including Europe’s busiest at Heathrow (75.5 per cent) — none of which made the top rankings, with the exception of London Luton.
Bristol Airport. Picture: John McLinden
Bristol Airport. Picture: John McLinden Source: Flickr
That puts it top of the league not only for small airports, but also larger facilities.
John Grant, OAG executive vice president, says the findings of his company’s first annual “Punctuality League” were positive, although many leading operators would probably be looking to up their game in 2015.
“With many airports and airlines achieving in excess of 90 per cent on-time performance within 15 minutes of schedule there is a lot to celebrate,” he said.
European destinations dominated the timekeeping list when it comes to small airports, with Bristol followed closely by Brussels South Charleroi Airport at 93.1 per cent and Berlin Schoenefeld at 92.3 per cent.
Japan’s Osaka International Airport claimed the top spot for medium sized airports with 93.2 per cent, followed by Moscow Sheremetyevo (89.8 per cent) and Copenhagen Airport (89.8 per cent).
The most punctual large air hub was named as Munich Airport (89 per cent) — a fact that’ll do little to dispel stereotypes of German efficiency, but one that also highlights the five-year delay to Berlin’s still unopened Brandenburg Airport.
Munich Airport. Source: Getty Images
Munich was followed by Tokyo Haneda at 87.9 per cent and Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport at 86.2 per cent.
The world’s busiest air destination, Atlanta, was ranked 12th on the large airports list with a score of 82.4 per cent. Dubai, at 14th with 82.3 per cent, was the only Middle Eastern airport to make any of the top twenties.
In a week when it emerged that passengers spent 28 hours stuck on a delayed flight from Abu Dhabi to San Francisco, OAG’s rankings for the world’s most punctual airlines makes interesting reading.
Smaller operations again took the lead, with Latvia’s airBaltic outperforming all others at 94.9 per cent. Second and third were Hawaiian Airlines at 92.3 per cent and Austrian Airlines at 90 per cent.
airBaltic is tops at punctuality. Picture: Jevgenijs Slihto
airBaltic is tops at punctuality. Picture: Jevgenijs Slihto Source: Flickr
The rest of the top 10 includes: Iberia (89.7 per cent), KLM (89.4 per cent), Saudi Arabian Airlines (89.4 per cent), SAS (89.1 per cent), Japan Airlines (88.8 per cent), Finnair (88.6) and Alaska Airlines (88.5 per cent).
Norwegian Air Shuttle was named the most punctual low-cost carrier, with almost nine out of 10 flights sticking to schedule. It was followed by Thai AirAsia and EasyJet.