Think you are worse off flying Kenya Airways? Think again

By Peter Muiruri | Published Tue, February 14th 2017 at 08:51, Updated February 14th 2017 at 08:55 GMT +3

Kenya Airways may have been on the news for all the wrong reasons. With financial mismanagement and needless delays topping the list. However, every cloud has a silver lining.

According to the newly released 2016 On-time Performance Service (OPS) Awards by aviation insights company, Flightstats, our national carrier may not be as bad as you previously thought in terms of punctuality.

And while our national carrier was not on the top ten list of best global airlines in terms of time keeping, it was not among the worst ten either.

Kenya Airways’ flights were 66.7 per cent punctual in 2016. Not a bad score for an airline that has been dogged by financial mismanagement that threatened to bring it to its knees. It however ranked behind its African rivals South African Airways (82 per cent) and Ethiopian Airlines (71 per cent).

The top prize went to Kenya Airways’ longtime partner, KLM which is punctual 88.5 per cent of the 234,881 flights it operated in 2016.
If you are a global traveler, you have a 56 per cent possibility of being delayed by Israel’s flag carrier, El Al.

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“This is a marvelous start to the new year. I see this as a wonderful acknowledgement of all our efforts in safety, punctuality and customer focus. We want to continue to give our customers a safe and pleasant travel experience in 2017,” said Pieter Elbers, KLM President and chief executive officer.

Airlines in Africa and the Middle East were assessed together due to the geographical nature of their operations. Qatar Airways was the most punctual among these airlines followed by South African Airways, Saudia, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Flydubai, Kenya Airways and Pegasus. Qatar Airways had an 82.61 per cent rate of punctuality.

Of the 4,650 flights by Kenya Airways last month, Flightstats tracked 86 per cent of them and found a delay factor of 25 per cent.

The annual On-time Performance Service Awards recognizes airlines around the world that deliver the highest percentage of flights to their arrival gates within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time or departure.

FlightStats focuses on providing real-time global flight data to companies and travelers across the travel ecosystem. It collects real-time flight status information on over 90 per cent of scheduled passenger flights flown by the top 250 airlines worldwide, archiving the information in a historical flight database.

An airline has to meet certain requirements to be considered within an awards category. They include the total annual scheduled passenger flights and the geographical nature of their route network.

This information enables the company to provide comprehensive on-time performance information to the global travel community.

“We strive to tell the “story” of a flight – from what’s expected, to what is happening now, to what happened. We believe flight data is valuable and is made even more valuable when delivered in conjunction with other contextual data,” states Flightstats.