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These Are The World’s Most Punctual Airports

by Staff

Summary

  • Cirium defines airport punctuality as the percentage of flights that left on time or within 15 minutes of their scheduled departure times.
  • Some of the most punctual airports to start the new year include MSP, VIE, RUH, and ATH.
  • Lima Airport (LIM) in Peru had an 87.94% on-time departure rate and was the world’s most punctual airport.



Punctuality is arguably one of the core pillars of the overall passenger experience since a delayed flight can cause a multitude of issues, including missed connections to a traveler’s final destination. According to the aviation analytics company Cirium, whose data is used henceforth, on-time performance is based on whether an aircraft arrives at a gate within 15 minutes of its scheduled arrival time. Airport on-time performance is measured with flights that depart on time.

In 2023, the most punctual airport reached an on-time performance (OTP) level of 84.44%, with the top five ranking, including two airports in the United States, two in India, and one in Colombia. Meanwhile, the most punctual airline was Colombia’s avianca.

Interestingly, both Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) and Bogota El Dorado International Airport (BOG) have dropped in ranking during the first month of 2024, with the airports ranking first and fourth, respectively, in 2023.


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5 Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)

On-time departure percentage: 82.32%

  • Total flights: 22,906
  • Routes served: 141

The most punctual airport of 2023 started 2024 by being the fifth-most punctual for the month of January. Data showed that there were 22,906 flights from/to the airport, with the on-time departure percentage being 82.32%. There were 141 routes from Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) served by 15 airlines.

A Delta Air Lines aircraft departing from Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.

Photo: natmac stock | Shutterstock

Out of all available flights, Delta Air Lines operated 16,750 of them, including its regional affiliates, SkyWest Airlines and Endeavor Air. As a result, the airline was by far the most dominant at the airport during the month since the second-largest carrier in terms of flights was Sun Country Airlines, with 1,698 scheduled flights in February 2024.


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4 Vienna Airport (VIE)

On-time departure percentage: 82.98%

  • Total flights: 14,830
  • Routes served: 145

The fourth most-punctual airport on the list is Vienna Airport (VIE), which serves the Austrian capital and is the hub of Austrian Airlines. Passengers can hop on 51 airlines’ flights on 145 different routes from VIE. The airport’s OTP was 82.98%.

Similarly to MSP, Austrian Airlines dominates the airport, operating 7,158 out of the 14,830 flights scheduled from/to the airport during the month. The second largest airline was Ryanair, with the low-cost carrier deploying three different Air Operator’s Certificates (AOC) on flights from the airport, including Ryanair, Lauda Air, and Poland-based Buzz.

An Emirates Airbus A380 Taxiing In Vienna.

Photo: Simlinger | Shutterstock


Although you won’t commonly spot an Airbus A380s operating at the airport during the winter months, in June 2024, Emirates has scheduled 60 flights with the Super Jumbo to VIE. The first flights of the year with the type began in February, with the Dubai-based airline scheduling 18 itineraries between VIE and Dubai International Airport (DXB).

3 Riyadh King Khalid International Airport (RUH)

On-time departure percentage: 85.73%

  • Total flights: 19,375
  • Routes served: 85

The airport serving Riyadh, King Khalid International Airport (RUH), had 19,375 flights in January, with 48 different airlines serving 85 routes to various destinations. The OTP was 85.73%, with the airport being a hub for several Saudi Arabian airlines, including SAUDIA and two low-cost carriers, flynas and flyadeal.

The three airlines have also largely dominated the airport’s schedule during the month. Combined, SAUDIA, flynas, and flyadeal scheduled 15,337 flights from/to RUH, with SAUDIA having the largest market share with 8,054 flights.


A Riyadh Air Boeing 787-9 in an aircraft hangar.

Photo: Riyadh Air

However, SAUDIA will be slowly replaced by the newly launched Riyadh Air, which should start operations in 2025. The former airline will focus on operations from Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED), while the latter will begin developing an international route network from RUH.

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2 Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (ATH)

On-time departure percentage: 87.86%

  • Total flights: 13,569
  • Routes served: 128

Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (ATH), serving the Greek capital, was the world’s second-most-punctual airport in January 2024. The airport, which offered 13,569 flights on 128 routes, with 48 airlines operating flights from/to ATH, had an OTP rating of 87.66%. While Greece and its islands typically enjoy very lovely and warm weather during the summer months, there are plenty of sights to see during the colder months as well.


An Aegean Airlines Airbus A320neo just after taking off from Athens Airport.

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

As such, Aegean Airlines is the dominant carrier at the airport, having scheduled 44.6% of the flights from/to ATH during the month. SKY Express, the Crete-based company, had the second-largest schedule from/to the airport, operating 3,148 flights. No other airline has more than 1,000 flights in January.

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1 Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM)

On-time departure percentage: 87.94%

  • Total flights: 13,951
  • Routes served: 64

The most punctual airport is in Peru, which, like several others on this list, serves the nation’s capital, in this case, Lima. Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) had 13,951 flights from/to 64 routes, with an average OTP of 87.94%, with 27 airlines operating flights out of LIM, the fourth-fewest on the list.


A LATAM Peru Airbus A320neo taking off from Cusco Airport.

Photo: F. Ferrucci | Shutterstock

Chile-based LATAM Airlines is by far the largest airline at the airport, as the carrier scheduled 8,419 out of 13,951 flights during the month, resulting in a market share of 60.3%. SKY Airline, marketed as SKY, another Chile-based airline with a subsidiary in Peru, has the second-most flights from the airport, with 1,788. Much like at ATH, only two airlines have more than 1,000 flights during the month, with Star Peru coming close with 744 flights.

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