UAE’s Etihad Airways and Emirates were among the world’s top 20 most punctual airlines in 2022.

According to figures released by the global data platform for the travel industry OAG, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and Emirates were ranked 19th and 20th respectively, with on-time performance (OTP) of 81.14 per cent and 81.13 per cent.

On-time performance is defined as flights that arrive or depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled times.

Etihad and Emirates had one of the lowest flight cancellations rates of 0.55 per cent and 0.02 per cent last year. They were the only two Gulf carriers that made it to the top 20 list of 2022.

The local carriers have resumed operations to most of the destinations that they were serving before the pandemic in the last two years.

Dubai’s flagship carrier currently operates to more than 130 destinations across six continents, while Abu Dhabi-based national airline flies to 64 cities.

Emirates has seen its ranking improve from fifth in 2019 to third in 2022 in the region and from 34th to 20th globally.

Globally, Garuda Indonesia, South Africa’s Safair, German low-cost carrier Eurowings, Thai AirAsia and South Korea’s Jeju Airlines were the top five most punctual airlines last year.

“Global on-time performance is reaching levels last seen before the pandemic as carriers work to ease operational pressures and delays. Confidence in the travel recovery is growing with airlines placing new aircraft orders, new routes being announced and labour challenges seemingly subsiding,” said John Grant, chief analyst at OAG.

In the Middle East and Africa region, Etihad and Emirates were ranked second and third for on-time performance in 2022 after Safair. Other carriers that made it to the top 10 are Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Flynas, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Oman Air and Royal Jordanian.

According to OAG, the top 10 airports by punctuality in the Middle East and Africa are Durban King Shaka International, Cape Town, Amman Queen Alia International, Bahrain, Muscat, Addis Ababa, Beirut, Abu Dhabi International, Doha and Jazan.

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