The UK’s most punctual airline has been named

Jet2 is the UK’s most punctual airline according to a new global accreditation programme.

Air travel intelligence company OAG rated more than 130 airlines and assessed their punctuality over 12 months. Those with the highest number of flights that arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled time were awarded a five-star rating – Jet2 was the only British airline to achieve this result. With 87.5 per cent of its flights running on time, the low-cost airline was also deemed the 10th most punctual in OAG’s list.

Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and easyJet were all beaten by Jet2, with three stars apiece. The now defunct Monarch achieved four stars for its punctuality.

British Airways and easyJet both operate significantly more flights than Jet2, which may contribute to their lower scores; some 78 per cent of BA’s arrive on time, while 75 per cent of easyJet’s land within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, was not included in the list as OAG must process flight status information for no less than 80 per cent of scheduled flights in a 12-month period for an airline to be included in the programme. Ryanair currently does not share enough of its flight status data to meet this criterion.

OAG’s On Time Programme (OTP) also analysed data from airports around the world to determine which were the most punctual.

Of the airports in the UK, Birmingham, Cardiff and Liverpool were awarded five stars with 90 per cent, 89 per cent and 87 per cent of flights leaving and arriving on time respectively.

London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, received two stars for punctuality, while London Gatwick obtained just one star, with 38 per cent of flights departing or arriving over 15 minutes late.

“Jet2.com has shown to have a robust on-time performance during some of the busiest travelling months of the year, although there are clearly improvements that UK airlines can make to their punctuality performance over the next six months,” said John Grant, senior analyst at OAG.

“With the aviation industry going through a turbulent time, there is a lot for the UK airports to be proud of in terms of the speed at which they’re able to get flights on and off the ground. The key for the next 12 months is consistency, as we’ll inevitably see the number of flights in and out of the UK increasing.”