What are the 6 most important KPI for airline operations? A tough question.

There are so many airline operations KPIs available. When we start a project with an airline, we usually have a set of +50 KPIs to launch an initial discussion. And our product catalog contains even more than 100 airline operations KPIs.

Indeed, not all of them have the same priority, and many KPIs address specific business models or sub-processes.

However, we asked ourselves, what are the most important KPIs for airline operations?

Most important airline KPI – what our clients say?

To determine this, we took a look at our clients. That means we’ve analyzed 15 airlines using the A:Wall. Including large flag carriers like Lufthansa but also medium-sized carriers and low-cost airlines.

For each of the airlines, we’ve checked which KPIs they’re using on their A:Wall channels.

Most important airline KPI — here are the results

6 most important airline operations kpi

Departure Punctuality

Departure Punctuality reflects the most important KPI for airlines based on our analysis. 100% – that means all of our clients are displaying the departure punctuality. Not a big surprise since departure punctuality is one of the significant quality KPIs for airlines. Especially when it comes to competitive advantages.

Check out our blog post about How to improve your airline’s on-time performance in 30 days without spending several hundred thousands of dollars.

airline punctuality
Photo by Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa on Unsplash


90% of all airlines are using the Regularity KPI. The indicator reflects the percentage of operated flights in relation to planned flights. Or in other words, how many flights have been canceled. Again, since this is a KPI, which directly affects passengers. It’s not surprising that most of the airlines have a close eye on this one.

6 most important airline kpi
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

Delay Minutes

Around 82% of airlines analyzed are visualizing the delay minutes. This means they are showing the total delay minutes. Additionally, they are also showing the distribution according to different delay reasons. For example, technical, handling, rotation, airport, weather, etc.

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Utilization (or seat load factor)

At position number four, we have the first KPI, which is not focusing on passenger or stable but profit-oriented operations. The utilization reflects the percentage of checked-in passengers in relation to available seats. Additionally, some airlines take the route length as an additional factor. 71% of all airlines are using this figure.

Arrival Punctuality

We assumed this KPI to be ranked much higher. But when doing the analysis, it turned out that only 67% of all airlines are using the arrival punctuality as KPI on their dashboard.

6 most important airline kpi
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Want to make more out of your on-time performance KPI? Check out our blog post: 4 tips to make more out of your airline’s on-time performance KPI.

Misconnex Quota

The Misconnex Quota, which reflects the percentage of connecting passengers that miss their onward flight in relation to the complete number of connecting passengers, is used by 45% of all airlines analyzed. Therefore, this KPI ranks number 6 on our most important KPI for airline operations list.

Most important airline KPI — where are the environmental facts?

Interesting fact: Although environmental KPIs (for example, fuel consumption, CO2) do not rank along with top 6 KPIs, we’ve seen a considerable increase in their usage. Will be interesting to see how this develops in the future.

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