The Ultimate Airline Performance Benchmark brings you operational key figures of 38 of Europe’s and Middle East’s biggest airlines! And: We benchmark the latest data from September in terms of flight volume, on-time performance, and schedule reliability!

The Ultimate Airline Performance Benchmark — September Edition

We’ve analyzed the latest performance of 38 European and Middle East airlines. As a result, we provide the most comprehensive airline performance benchmark. In detail, we looked at the airlines’ performance in terms of flight volume, punctuality, and schedule stability. In case you aren’t familiar with these terms, we provide a quick definition below. Otherwise, you can directly jump to the details of the ranking!

Important: The shown results are based on flights from 1st to 15th September 2021.

Definitions

Let’s quickly define the indicators we discuss in this blog post.

Flight Volume
In our case, we define flight volume as the number of flights the airline will perform in a certain period, September 2021.

Punctuality
Punctuality counts all flights that arrive on time at their destination airport and puts them into relation to the overall operated number of flights. On-time in this context is defined as +15/-15 compared to the scheduled arrival time. We consider an on-time performance above 90% as good (green), from 80%-90% as ok (orange), and below 80% as weak (red).

Flight Schedule Reliability (Reliability)
Schedule reliability counts the number of actually performed flights concerning scheduled flights. In other words, the percentage of flights that an airline didn’t cancel. We consider schedule reliability above 95% as good (green), from 90%-95% as ok (orange), and below 90% as weak (red).

Airline Performance Benchmark — Flight Volume

Unsurprisingly, Ryanair leads the list of busiest airlines by flight volume. For many months now, Ryanair has been EMEA’s biggest airline. Moreover, behind Ryanair, we see a mixed field of low-cost and legacy carriers. With easyJet, Wizz Air, and Vueling, three more low-cost carriers made it to the top 10. On the other side, we have Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Aeroflot, Air France, and KLM as part of the top 10.

However, it is worth mentioning that the gap between Ryanair and “the others” is quite significant. Except for Turkish and easyJet, Ryanair’s flight volume is more than 20,000 flights bigger than other carriers’.

RankIATAAirlineCountryFlight Volume
1Ryanair34,920
2Turkish Airlines20,060
3easyJet16,515
4Lufthansa12,872
5Aeroflot12,709
6Wizz Air11,474
7Air France9,734
8Vueling8,488
9KLM Royal Dutch Airlines8,277
10Pegasus7,707
11British Airways7,161
12Qatar Airways6,938
13SAS Scandinavian Airlines6,905
14Iberia6,727
15Saudia6,720
16S7 Airlines6,422
17Eurowings5,646
18Wideroe’s5,167
19Emirates4,470
20Pobeda4,116
21Alitalia4,078
22Austrian Airlines3,761
23Swiss International Air Lines3,645
24LOT Polish Airlines3,476
25TAP Air Portugal3,307
26Flydubai2,275
27Finnair2,183
28Brussels Airlines2,171
29Air Europa2,125
30Flynas1,964
31Aegean Airlines1,924
32Air Arabia1,882
33Etihad1,661
34Aer Lingus1,496
35Gulf Air1,196
36Virgin Atlantic797
37Kuwait Airways733
38Oman Air600
Airline Performance Benchmark — Flight Volume

Airline Performance Benchmark — Punctuality

When looking at the on-time performance, two results are similar to many of our previous posts. First of all, Aeroflot —once again— leads the list of most punctual airlines. With 95.5% punctual flight, Russia’s flag-carrier continues to deliver extraordinary performance. Besides that, Spain’s airlines continue to play a dominating role at the top. As a result, Vueling, Air Europa, and Iberia, three Spanish airlines, made it to the top 10.

On top of that, carriers from the Middle East delivered a solid performance. With Oman Air, Gulf Air, Emirates, and Saudia, four Middle East carriers are among the top 10.

At the bottom of the list, we can find some carriers with a high flight volume. First of all, it is Lufthansa that seems to disappoint and ranks 37th. However, Pegasus, Ryanair, and Wizz Air are further examples of airlines with high flight volume but low punctuality.

RankIATAAirlineCountryArrival Punctuality
1Aeroflot96.5%
2Aer Lingus96.4%
3Oman Air95.6%
4Vueling95.4%
5Gulf Air94.4%
6Austrian Airlines94.1%
7Air Europa94.0%
8Iberia94.0%
9Emirates93.9%
10Saudia93.8%
11Virgin Atlantic93.6%
12S7 Airlines93.1%
13Flynas93.0%
14Eurowings92.9%
15Wideroe’s92.5%
16LOT Polish Airlines92.2%
17Flydubai91.6%
18Kuwait Airways91.5%
19Finnair91.5%
20KLM Royal Dutch Airlines90.8%
21easyJet90.7%
22Air France89.8%
23SAS Scandinavian Airlines89.6%
24Swiss International Air Lines89.3%
25Turkish Airlines89.3%
26Brussels Airlines88.9%
27British Airways88.7%
28Ryanair88.5%
29Qatar Airways88.3%
30Etihad88.3%
31Air Arabia88.0%
32Alitalia87.9%
33TAP Air Portugal87.5%
34Wizz Air85.9%
35Pobeda85.8%
36Aegean Airlines84.7%
37Lufthansa84.3%
38Pegasus83.3%
Airline Performance Benchmark — Punctuality

Airline Performance Benchmark — Schedule Stability

From an overall point of view, the benchmarked airlines deliver a great job in terms of schedule stability. As a result, 27 out of 38 airlines canceled less than 1% of their flights. Moreover, with Pobeda, Aegean Airlines, and Aer Lingus, we have three airlines that didn’t cancel a single flight during the monitored period.

With 8.9% canceled flights, Saudia disappoints massively concerning schedule stability. Virgin Atlantic, Kuwait Airways, and Gulf Air are other examples of airlines that seem to have some stability issues at the moment.

RankIATAAirlineCountryReliability
1Pobeda100%
2Aegean Airlines100%
3Aer Lingus100%
4Ryanair99.9%
5Vueling99.9%
6KLM Royal Dutch Airlines99.9%
7Pegasus99.9%
8Iberia99.9%
9Finnair99.9%
10Air Arabia99.9%
11easyJet99.8%
12Wizz Air99.8%
13S7 Airlines99.8%
14LOT Polish Airlines99.8%
15TAP Air Portugal99.8%
16Lufthansa99.7%
17Aeroflot99.7%
18Qatar Airways99.7%
19Austrian Airlines99.7%
20Brussels Airlines99.7%
21Air Europa99.7%
22Turkish Airlines99.5%
23Eurowings99.5%
24Emirates99.5%
25Air France99.4%
26Swiss International Air Lines99.4%
27British Airways99.3%
28Wideroe’s98.9%
29Oman Air98.1%
30Etihad98.0%
31Flydubai97.9%
32Alitalia97.6%
33SAS Scandinavian Airlines97.3%
34Flynas95.4%
35Gulf Air94.2%
36Kuwait Airways94.1%
37Virgin Atlantic92.2%
38Saudia91.1%
Airline Performance Benchmark — Schedule Stability

Data Source

The shown ranking and contained data are based on the latest FlightFacts data. FlightFacts is a free-to-use mobile app that lets you discover the operational performance of airlines in real-time. For more information about FlightFacts, click here or visit our download page. FlightsFacts is available for Android and Apple mobiles.

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CEO

Benjamin is a content-maniac, music-lover, aviation-enthusiast, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions to change the way airlines, airports, and aviators use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry and working with renowned airlines + airports worldwide.

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