South African Airways (SAA) has been named as one of the top performing airlines globally for on-time performance (OTP) by travel data and analytics company, Cirium.
SAA was ranked fourth in the category for Middle East and Africa mainline carriers, ahead of some of its major competitors, making SAA the leading African carrier on OTP.
“According to the International Airlines Transport Association’s benchmark of OTP, an airline is on-time when it arrives within 15 minutes of the scheduled time of arrival or departs within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time.
“We are excited that most of the time we adhere to these deadlines,” said Zuks Ramasia, SAA acting chief executive officer.
“We are encouraged by this latest announcement about our performance. It is an endorsement and occasion to celebrate great achievement, especially when judged against our own peers, globally.
“Customers always have a choice and those, who elect to fly with us recognise that we are a dependable airline.
“The results speak volumes about consistency and reliability of our operations – a key feature underlying our customer value proposition. This is an important attribute of our business.”
SAA’s overall on-time performance across its route network is 85.69 per cent.
As a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance, SAA serves 57 destinations within South Africa and across the continent in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and its low-cost carrier, Mango.
SAA also flies to eight intercontinental destinations from its Johannesburg hub.
Ms Ramasia added: “We place a high premium on punctuality as measured through OTP. It is one of our most important customer impact performance indicators.
“The more punctual we are, the happier the customers we keep. Any flight delays could lead to costs for the airline and inconvenience to the customer.
“Delays could snowball into more delays, requiring more re-planning to recover the schedule for the rest of the day and bring inefficiencies.”
Cirium works with over 90 per cent of the world’s top 50 airlines. The company, which has published its annual On-time Performance (OTP) Review for the past 11 years, provides a definitive list of the world’s best performing airlines and airports for on-time flight operations.
Jeremy Bowen, Cirium chief executive officer, said: “Achieving world-class customer satisfaction and industry-leading product differentiation is about more than just competitively priced tickets and flight availability.
“When choosing whom to fly with, savvy travellers also now consider airline punctuality and operational reliability.
“We believe Cirium’s On-Time Performance Review 2019 will inspire airlines and airports to continue innovating to improve their performance.
“By embracing digital transformation and leveraging data to its full potential, Cirium can help the aviation industry harness its power to improve on-time performance and enhance the passenger experience.”