Have you ever asked yourself about the metrics airlines monitor during the day of operations? Or in other words, what are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) airlines have a close eye on? We work with airlines all over the world and collected the most essential operations KPIs.

airline kpis

The most successful airlines are successful because they keep tracking and monitoring their airline operations KPIs. They literally swim in data and performance indicators. These airlines understood that every decision has to be based on data and KPIs. If you don’t know your performance at every point in time, you have no idea and no possibility to improve. That’s why you have to keep a close eye on your KPIs, especially in operations.

Airline Operations KPIs — Our Most Precious Knowledge

With this post, we share a part of our most precious knowledge. Knowledge that has been gathered from KPI projects with airlines around the globe. From large flag carriers to charter and low-cost operators. From network airlines to point-to-point and regional carriers.

Throughout these projects, we defined and set up nearly 100 different airline operations KPIs. Some of the KPIs are common, but some are also very particular.

77 Airline Operations KPIs

For this post, we put together 77 of these KPIs. We have clustered these KPIs according to different operational aspects. What’s the idea behind? We wanted to create a source for thoughts for you. A list you can go through to pick up new ideas that will help your airline to become even more successful.

General Airline Operations KPIs

  • Arrival Delay: Amount of delay minutes for all arrived flights.
  • Arrival Punctuality: Share of flights with an arrival delay in relation to the total number of operated flights.
  • Arrivals: Basic KPI counting the number of arrived flights.
  • Cancellations: Number of canceled flights for a specific period.
  • Cancellation Rate: Share of canceled flights in relation to the total number of operated flights.
  • Delay Minutes: Amount of delay minutes of all departed flights.
  • Delay Reasons: Delay minutes clustered according to delay reasons.
  • Departure Delay: Amount of delay minutes of all departed flights.
  • Departure Delay per Passenger: Total amount of delay minutes in relation to the total amount of passengers transported.
  • Departure Delay per Flight: Total amount of delay minutes in relation to the total amount of flights operated.
  • Departures: Basic KPI counting the number of departed flights.
  • Departure Punctuality: Share of flights with a departure delay in relation to the total number of operated flights.
  • Diversions: Basic KPI counting the number of diversions. Diversion is defined as the change of a flight’s arrival airport while en route.
  • Regularity: Number of departures in relation to all scheduled flights for a period.
  • Utilization: Share of check-in or boarded passengers in relation to available seats of all departed flights.
  • Seat Load Factor (SLF): SLF is the dimensionless ratio of passenger-kilometers traveled to seat-kilometers available.
  • Rerouting: Basic KPI counting the number of rerouting. Rerouting is defined as the change of a flight’s arrival airport prior to departure.

Passenger KPIs

  • Passengers en Route: Sum of all boarded passengers for flights en-route.
  • Transported Passengers: Sum of all transported passengers for a specified period (often clustered according to compartments).
  • Satisfied Passenger Quota: Share of passengers having arrived on-time in relation to all transported/checked-in passengers.
  • Unsatisfied Passengers: Share of passengers having arrived late or not at destination in relation to all transported/checked-in passengers.
  • Disruption Affected Passengers: Sum of passengers affected by major (cancellation, diversion, etc.) or minor (delay) disruptions.
  • Scheduled Passengers: Number of passengers scheduled for a certain period (day, week, etc.)

Operations Control KPIs

  • Aircraft Changes: Number of performed aircraft changes for a specified period.
  • Equipment Changes: Number of performed equipment changes for a specified period.
  • Gate Changes: Number of performed gate changes for a specified period.
  • Crew Changes: Number of performed crew changes for a specified period.
  • Number of Irregularities: Amount of irregularities (for example delays, aircraft changes, diversions, etc.) for a specified period.
  • Irregularity Ratio: Number of flights affected by an irregularity in relation to all flights operated.
  • Ad-Hoc Changes: Amount of flight schedule changes during the day-of-operations.
  • Schedule Stability: Percentage of flights that operated as scheduled.

Connex Management KPIs

  • Misconnex Passengers: Number of checked-in passengers failed to connect to onward flight.
  • Connex Passengers: Number of checked-in passengers that are booked on more than one flight leg.
  • Connex Ratio: Percentage of connex passengers in relation to the overall amount of passengers.
  • Misconnex Quota: Share of checked-in passengers failed to connect to onward flight in relation to all passengers with an onward flight.
  • Minimum Connecting Time Sufficiency: Share of passengers failing to connect to onward flight and a connecting time > minimum connecting in relation to all misconnex passengers

Weight & Balance KPIs

  • Baggage Weight: Amount of transported baggage in tons.
  • Bags on Board: Amount of bags for all flights with ATD and without ATA.
  • Cargo Weight: Amount of transported cargo in tons.

Baggage Management KPIs

  • Left Behind Index: Share of all bags left at origin airport in relation to total bags.
  • Left behind bags: Amount of bags left at origin airport.
  • Mishandled Baggage Index: Share of all bags not arriving at the destination airport in relation to total bags.
  • Mishandled Bags: Amount of bags not arriving at the destination airport.
  • Handled Bags: Simple KPI that calculates the overall amount of bags handled during a period (hour, day, week, etc.)

Airline Punctuality KPIs

  • Ground Time Recovery: Share of flight with a delayed arrival (ATA > STA) and on-time departure of consecutive flight, in relation to all delayed arrivals.
  • Ground Time Sufficiency: Share of flights with an on-time arrival and on-time departure in relation to all arrived flights.
  • Block Time Recovery: Share of flight with a delayed departure (ATD > STD) and on-time arrival, in relation to all delayed departures.
  • Block Time Sufficiency: Share of flights with an on-time departure and on-time arrival relation to all arrived flights.
  • Aircraft Readiness: Amount of flights where aircraft have been ready at boarding begin in relation to all flights operated.
  • Standby Aircraft Availability: Amount of standby aircraft available.
  • Average Taxi-In / Taxi-Out Time: Average time between touchdown and on-blocks / off-blocks and airborne of aircraft. The KPI is usually only tracked for important hubs/home bases.

Fuel & Environment KPIs

  • Fuel Consumption: The total amount of fuel burned for a specific period.
  • Fuel Consumption per Passenger: Total amount of fuel burned in relation to transported passengers.
  • Fuel Consumption per Passenger Kilometer: Total amount of fuel burned in relation to operated passenger-kilometer.
  • CO2 Consumption: Total amount of CO2 generated for a specific period.
  • CO2 Consumption per Passenger: Total amount of CO2 generated in relation to transported passengers.
  • CO2 Consumption per Passenger Kilometer: Total amount of CO2 generated in relation to operated passenger-kilometer.

Airline Maintenance KPIs

  • Planned Events: Number of planned maintenance events, clustered according to event type.
  • Unplanned Events: Number of unscheduled maintenance events for a specific period.
  • Standby Aircraft Utilization: Amount of time standby aircraft have been used in relation to the available aircraft standby time.
  • Release to Service: Percentage of aircraft being released to service on-time.
  • AOG: Number of AOGs for a specified period.
  • Standby Aircraft Availability: Number of standby aircraft available.

Crew KPIs

  • Standby Crew Availability: Amount of standby crews available, clustered according to positions.
  • Crew Bus Punctuality: Amount of flights where crew bus arrived on-time at the aircraft.
  • Crew Changes: Amount of flights where the crew is required to change the aircraft in relation to all flights operated (clustered according to cockpit and cabin crew).
  • Crew Readiness: Amount of flight where the crew has been ready at boarding begin in relation to all flights operated.
  • Crew en Route: Number of cockpit and cabin crew currently en route.

Airline Performance KPIs

  • Aircraft Utilization / Productivity: Amount of total block hours in relation to available hours (depending on definition).
  • Profitability: Overall profitability or clustered to aircraft types, routes, or traffic regions.
  • Profitability Ratio: Number of flights operated profitably in relation to all operated flights.
  • Compensation: Amount of compensation to be paid, according to delayed/canceled flights and related aspects (passengers, delay reasons, traffic region, etc.)

Crisis KPIs

According to one of our latest articles about airline dashboards that focus on crisis situations, here are some crisis-related operations KPIs:

  • Impacted Flights: Number of flights that cannot be operated due to specific reasons (strike, airspace closure, pandemic, ash cloud, etc.)
  • Restricted Destinations: Number of airports that cannot be approached at the moment due to specific circumstances.
  • Impacted Passengers: Number of passengers that are impacted due to a crisis situation.
  • Rebookings: Number of rebookings that have been made due to a specific crisis situation.
  • Parked Aircraft / Aircraft On Ground: Different to AOG, the number of aircraft that currently parked and not operated due to a specific crisis situation.

Want To Know More About Airline KPIs? Here’s Where To Start


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CEO

Benjamin is an information-enthusiast, a content-maniac, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions with the aim to change the way companies use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry, and working with renowned companies all over the globe.