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These are the world’s most punctual airlines for 2018

We’ve all experienced the pains of crowded airports, unbearably long security lines and cramped seating. But when it comes to flight delays, some airlines really are better than others.

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Analysts at  travel intelligence firm OAG examined 57 million flight records from 2017 to find out which airlines are truly the world’s most punctual.

The U.K.-based firm defined on-time performance (or OTP) as flights that arrive or depart within 14 minutes and 59 seconds of their scheduled times.

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With 90.01 percent of OTP flights, the most punctual mainline airline in the world is Latvian flag carrier airBaltic, the report found.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines came in at No. 11 on the mainline list with an OTP rate of 82.76 percent.

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However, when it comes to the most punctual airlines with 30 million-plus seats (also referred to as mega airlines), Delta ranked third overall.

Last year, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics also ranked Delta third in on-time performance with an overall on-time arrival rate of nearly 86.5 percent in 2016. Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines took the top spots in the federal ranking.

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Other U.S. majors among OAG’s top 10 mega airlines by OTP include United Air Lines (No. 7) and American Airlines (No. 9).

In addition to being highly punctual, many of the top-ranked airlines are also low-cost carriers. "This year, six of the Top 20 airlines are LCCs, up from four last year and two in 2015," OAG reported.

Here are the top 10 mega airlines by OTP, according to OAG:

  1. Japan Airlines (85.27 percent)
  2.  All Nippon Airways (83.81 percent)
  3. Delta Air Lines (82.76 percent)
  4.  IndiGo (81.22 percent)
  5. Alaska Airlines (81.06 percent)
  6. SAS (80.90 percent)
  7. United Airlines (79.86 percent)
  8. LATAM Airlines Group (79.39 percent)
  9. American Airlines (78.97 percent)
  10. Southwest (78.55 percent)

And the top 10 mainline airlines by OTP:

  1. airBaltic (90.01 percent) 
  2. Hong Kong Airlines (88.83 percent)
  3. Hawaiian Airlines (87.24 percent)
  4. Copa Airlines (86.39 percent)
  5. Qantas Airways (86.18 percent)
  6. Japan Airlines(85.27 percent)
  7. Aer Lingus (84.46 percent)
  8. Singapore Airlines (84.07 percent)
  9. All Nippon Airways (83.81 percent)
  10. Qatar Airways (82.95 percent)

Explore the full study and its methodology at OAG.com.

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