Delhi, Mumbai airports are at the bottom of global ranking on punctuality

New Delhi: Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has won the unflattering distinction of being the fifth least punctual airport in the world. The Mumbai airport stands at the 509th rank out of the 513 airports across the globe, while Delhi ranked 451, with 70.7% on time performance.

These are among the findings in a report of 513 airports and 65 airlines across the world by British aviation intelligence firm OAG. According to the report, Mumbai was ranked 509 in terms of on-time performance after recording only 60% of its over 3.2 lakh flights during June 2017 to May 2018.

The OAG report also states that the airport handled a record 1,003 flights during a 24-hour period on June 5.
Bengaluru airport ranks 262nd on the list, Chennai 255th, and Hyderabad 246th, all well above the Mumbai airport. Port Blair was the highest ranked Indian airport on the list, clocking in a 84.6% on-time performance rate.

Globally, Japan’s Nagoya Komaki airport was ranked the best with 94.5%t on-time performance during the 12-month period. This is the first time Indian airports and airlines figure in the OAG report. The OAG 2016 only ranked the top 20 airports and airlines in the world. No Indian airport or airline figured in the 2016 report.

Among 65 airlines across the world with more than one lakh operations in the 12-month period, flag-carrier Air India was the second poorest performer. Only 58.4% of its over 1.7 lakh flights were on time and scored marginally better than China’s Shenzhen Airlines with 56.1% on-time performance.

Low-cost carrier IndiGo was the best Indian performer and ranked 14 with 82% of its 3.6 lakh flights being on time during the period. Budget airline SpiceJet ranked 45 while full-service carrier Jet Airways ranked 54 out of the 65 operators.

The best performing global airline was Panama’s Copa Airlines with an on-time performance of 88.2%, followed by Australia’s Qantas Airways with 85.7%. OAG said that it defines the on-time performance of airlines as arrivals that take place “strictly less than 15 minutes after scheduled arrival time, including cancellations”. While for airports on-time is defined as departures and arrivals that take place “strictly less than 15 minutes after scheduled departure/arrival time, including cancellations”.

OAG said that all airlines and airports mentioned in the report have a minimum of 600 operations a month and the research firm has received flight status information for at least 80% of scheduled flights within the 12-month period.

The airport rankings reflect infrastructure constraints at airports in India. The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai reached 94% of its maximum passenger handling capacity in 2017, according to research firm CAPA, which had also said that the airport was expected to reach full capacity in 2018.

Earlier in June, outlining the plan for airport expansion in the country, Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu had said: “Airlines have expanded their fleet. The number of passengers has increased but commensurate to that if there is no increase in the ground level infrastructure, we will not be able to sustain it. So for sustainable growth, airport expansion is necessary.”

According to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data, the primary reason for flight delays in May was reactionary, meaning late arrival of an incoming aircraft from its previous flight. This was followed by delays on account of air traffic control and airport-related delays.