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Delta was the most on-time North American airline during a chaotic 2022, data shows. See which carriers made the top 10.


Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines aircraft at an airport.Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines aircraft.

DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty

  • Aviation data analytics company Cirium has revealed its annual on-time performance review for 2022.
  • Delta Air Lines led the pack with a rate of about 84%, while Air Canada came in last at just 55%.
  • Travel data provider Official Aviation Guide says a score of at least 80% is considered “pretty good.”

It has been one of the most hectic years for air travel in history, but some airlines managed their operation better than others.

Between January 1 and December 15, about 180,000 flights entering, existing, or flying within the US were canceled, while another 1.7 million were delayed, according to FlightAware data. This accounts for 2.1% and 20.4% of all scheduled flights, respectively.

Staffing shortages, air traffic control issues, and severe weather can be blamed for the chaos, which was seen over many major holiday weekends throughout the year, including New Year’s, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Christmas.

Now, the burning question is which airlines were the most reliable in 2022, especially after the chaos led to a lot of distrust among customers. Fortunately, aviation data analytics company Cirium has the answer.

On Thursday, the organization revealed the results of its annual on-time performance review that tracked over five million flights in North America this year — which equals 99.55% of all flights from January 1 to December 15.

The organization defines on time “as a flight that arrives within 15 minutes of the scheduled gate arrival.” 

Of the 10 carriers on the list, including eight from the US and two in Canada, Delta Air Lines led the pack for the second year in a row with an on-time arrival rate of 84.10%.

According to travel data provider Official Aviation Guide, a “pretty good” on-time performance rate is anything above 80%: “The very best airlines and airports succeed in punctuality closer to 90% – but they remain the exception rather than the rule.”

OAG acknowledged that reliability may be harder for airlines that fly into congested airports and airspace than those that don’t. The organization also pointed to the ongoing climate crisis and subsequent severe weather that will continue to impact carriers.

With the mounting challenges, experts warn this year’s “flightmare” may continue until at least 2024. 

“It’s easy to forget how dramatically airlines had to reduce capacity to weather the early part of the pandemic,” Boston Consulting Group managing director Adam Gordon told Insider’s Hannah Towey in August. “Ramping the operation back up is no small feat and the operational challenges we’ve seen recently are mostly a result of this complexity rather than planning or execution failures on the part of the airlines.”

Here is a closer look at North America’s best and worst airlines for on-time performance in 2022. Cirium noted this data will change slightly by year’s end, but the rankings are “very unlikely to do so.”

10. Air Canada

A Boeing 787-9 in Air Canada livery prepares to land.Air Canada operates 55% of all flights from Toronto Pearson Airport, according to Flightaware.

Getty Images

Number of flights: 143,141

On-time performance: 55.56%

2021 ranking: 9

9. WestJet

WestJet Boeing 737-700A WestJet Boeing 737-700 aircraft,

Todd Korol/Reuters

Number of flights: 89,443

On-time performance: 60.66%

2021 ranking: Not ranked

8. Allegiant Air

allegiant air

Carlos Yudica/Shutterstock

Number of flights: 110,703

On-time performance: 66.49%

2021 ranking: 10

7. JetBlue Airways

JetBlue A320 aircraft.JetBlue A320 aircraft.

Marcus Mainka/Shutterstock

Number of flights: 327,055

On-time performance: 67.13%

2021 ranking: 8

6. Frontier Airlines

Frontier AirlinesFrontier Airlines

Carlos Yudica

Number of flights: 161,982

On-time performance: 68.99%

2021 ranking: 6

5. Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines.

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Number of flights: 1,272,778

On-time performance: 74.68%

2021 ranking: 7

4. American Airlines

American Airlines 777-300ER landing.American Airlines 777-300ER.

Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Number of flights: 1,025,075

On-time performance: 78.77%

2021 ranking: 3

3. United Airlines

United Airlines Boeing 787.

United Airlines

Number of flights: 749,725

On-time performance: 81.26%

2021 ranking: 4

2. Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 jet.Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 jet.

Shutterstock

Number of flights: 231,248

On-time performance: 81.42%

2021 ranking: 2

1. Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines aircraft.Delta Air Lines aircraft.

On The Run Photo/Shutterstock

Number of flights: 959,987

On-time performance: 84.10%

2021 ranking: 1

Read the original article on Business Insider