Tired of Delays? New Data Shows Which Airline Was the Most on-Time in 2022

You’ll spend less time waiting at the gate flying with this carrier

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After a brutal summer filled with flight delays, cancellations, lost luggage, and more recent winter weather-related cancellations, travelers are beyond frustrated—and rightfully so. 

While delays and cancellations are inevitable (and sometimes necessary for the safety of all), it doesn't make them any less inconvenient. However, regarding the frequency of delays, not all airlines are the same, and passengers might be able to avoid some flight delays simply by choosing a different airline. 

Cirium, an aviation data and analytics company, just released its on-time performance review for 2022, ranking airlines and airports from best to worst by flight punctuality. (In this case, a flight that arrives or departs within 15 minutes of its scheduled gate arrival time.) The company referenced more than 600 sources of real-time flight information to finalize its rankings and verified its numbers by an independent board of advisors to guarantee authenticity. 

Sitting at the bottom of the North American list is Air Canada, which Cirium found to be on time only 54.5 percent of the time (Yikes.) Just above Air Canada are budget airlines WestJet and Allegiant Air, with on-time percentages of 59.1 and 65.9, respectively. JetBlue was also surprisingly low on the list in seventh place, only being on-time 66.35 percent of the time, trailing Frontier Airlines by two percent.

The most on-time airline? Unsurprisingly, Delta Air Lines retook the top spot for the fifth year in a row, with an on-time percentage of 83.63 percent. Following Delta are United and Alaska Airlines, which scored 80.46 percent, and American and Southwest in fourth and fifth place at 78.29 and 74.06 percent, respectively. 

Globally, Azul Brazilian Airlines and two Japanese carriers, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, took the top three spots, with an on-time percentage of 88 percent. Delta ranked fifth globally and trailed three percent below Chilean airline LATAM, which sat at 86.31 percent. 

Cirium also recognized Delta with the Cirium Platinum Award, which is presented to an airline that demonstrates global operational excellence in categories including on-time performance, operational complexity, and the number of flight disruptions. 

"The care and commitment of Delta people across our diverse, global operation helped secure this recognition again as the industry leader," said John Laughter, Delta's EVP and chief of operations, in a Delta news statement. "We ran the most on-time airline during a challenging year of rebuilding and made improvements that will allow us to climb even higher this year."

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  1. Cirium. "Cirium's On-Time Performance Is The Industry Standard." Accessed January 3, 2023.

  2. Cirium. "Most On-Time Airlines and Airports of 2022 Unveiled by Cirium." Jan. 3, 2023

  3. Delta. "Delta Named North America's Most On-Time Airline, Earns Cirium Platinum Award." January 3, 2023.