SA domestic carriers' on-time performance on the up as newcomer clinches top spot

2016-07-20 09:42
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Cape Town - Low-cost carrier FlySafair has snatched the best on-time performance (OTP) rating for a local airline by leaps and bounds, achieving an overall 98% OTP. 

Although establishing an overall global best OTP performance chart is difficult due to variables like airlines' fleet sizes and international weather patterns, data shows that FlySafair has the best global on-time performance too. According to Kirby Gordon, Vice President: Sales and Distribution for FlySafair, no other airline's ratings even come close to FlySafair's 96.7% rating. 

According to global airline data collector Flight Stats in April this year, the best OTP globally was achieved by Chilean low-cost carrier Sky Airline, with a OTP of 93.52%. 

The local stats are from the latest June 2016 data that show arrivals of aircraft at three of SA's major airport hubs, OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports. The new data shows that low-cost carrier FlySafair achieved a record overall OTP score of 98% - the highest out of all airlines, as measured by ACSA. 

In June 2016 FlySafair’s OTP was 96.7%, and for the past year, FlySafair has achieved a 95% on-time performance rate. 

Gordon says, "FlySafair has focused on this OTP metric extensively, as part of their overall strategy to keep down the costs of operating, and pass those savings onto the customer in the form of low-cost flights." 

Time-strapped travellers will be glad to know that on-time performance (OTP) of airlines in South Africa are on the rise. 

This is what OR Tambo International Airport OTP looks like: 

This is what Cape Town International Airport OTP looks like: 

This is what King Shaka International Airport OTP looks like: 

OTP is a globally measured standard that reflects an airline’s adherence to their own published schedules. 

This is traditionally measured by the airports themselves, rather than airlines, to counter any potential bias and misreporting.

OTP is measured as within 15 minutes of scheduled departure times. The 15 min window is to allow for air traffic congestion which is beyond the airline’s control, and can be made up in flying time. 

Delays at airports also affect an airline’s operational efficiency and bottom line. 

In South Africa, the recording of these time scores is managed by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), in line with the International Airlines Transport Association (IATA) standard benchmarks, and across the country’s three major airports – OR Tambo, Cape Town International and King Shaka in Durban. 

ACSA calls OTP “the primary internationally accepted standard” for measuring airport operational efficiency. 

A trend towards better OTP performance is prevalent globally. Research by Wichita State University found that airlines in the US have improved their average scores from 76,2% OTP in 2014 to 79% in 2015. 

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