Kenya Airways (KQ) has established itself as the foremost punctual flag carrier in Africa, achieving timely arrivals for over 70 percent of its flights in 2023. This surpasses the longstanding leader, Ethiopian Airlines, marking a notable shift.
An analysis of On-time Performance (OTP) by aviation analytics firm Cirium indicates that out of the 41,905 flights operated by KQ in 2023, more than 30,000 saw the carrier achieving punctual arrivals, resulting in a commendable performance rate of 71.86 percent.
This accomplishment not only positions KQ as the most punctual flag carrier on the African continent but also secures its standing as the second most punctual airline in Africa. South Africa-based Safair, a privately-owned low-cost carrier, claims the top spot with an impressive 92.36 percent on-time performance.
Within the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, KQ claims the tenth spot in the list of the most punctual airlines. Oman Air, the flag carrier of Oman, leads the pack with a remarkable on-time arrival rate of 92.53 percent.
Notably, this marks the first instance where KQ has outperformed its long-time rival, Ethiopian Airlines (ET), as the most punctual flag carrier in Africa. ET had held this position for the past five years. In the MEA region rankings of 2022, ET secured the sixth position, while KQ did not feature among the top 10. In 2021, ET was fourth in the region and second in Africa, trailing Safair, with KQ absent from the top 10. KQ’s last inclusion among the 10 most punctual airlines dates back to 2019 when it secured the tenth position.
Industry experts emphasize the profound impact of on-time performance on revenues and customer satisfaction. Anthony Brooks, an aircraft appraiser, underscores that passenger satisfaction is closely tied to an airline’s OTP and serves as a potent tool in brand marketing campaigns when consistently maintained at a high level.
While KQ demonstrated commendable performance throughout the first 10 months of the year, it encountered delays in November and December, impacting its overall on-time arrival performance.