Multi Year OPS Winners Blog Header IberiaExpress

Iberia Express rises to become the most on-time low-cost Carrier

Achieving high on-time performance is not an easy task for any airline. In fact, it’s quite an impressive accomplishment when an airline is not only able to achieve the best on-time performance but also maintain consistently outstanding operations year over year.

We began offering the On-time Performance Service Awards eight years ago in order to recognize airlines for their efforts. Since then, we have been able to observe through our own data what airlines have achieved in terms of improving their operations.

For the next few weeks, we are releasing a five-year on-time performance review of each airline that has won one of our OPS Awards multiple years in a row. This week, we are highlighting the performance of Iberia Express Airlines. Iberia Express has been the most punctual low-cost carrier in the world for three consecutive years.

Check out our infographic to see how Iberia Express has progressed to become the most on-time low-cost carrier:

Iberia Express on-time performance

Iberia Express is the best low-cost carrier

Iberia Express’ on-time arrival for the past five years:

  • 2012: 88.37%
  • 2013: 93.25%
  • 2014: 93.84%
  • 2015: 93.50%
  • 2016: 89.64%

From 2012 to 2015, Iberia Express’ on-time performance increased significantly. Jumping from an on-time arrival of 88.37% in 2012 to an on-time arrival of 93.25% in 2013, Iberia Express managed to create a 4.88% improvement in its operations. Additionally, it is considered especially impressive when an airline’s on-time performance reaches 90%. and Iberia Express maintained at least a 93% on-time arrival for three years straight in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The airline experienced a slight dip in on-time performance in 2016; however, they still managed to pull off an 89.64% on-time performance. Over the past five years, Iberia Express’ average on-time performance was 91.7%.

Flying more, but getting better

In 2012, we tracked 18,706 flights for Iberia Express and by 2016 this number rose to 31,950 flights. Adding over 13,000 new flights could have put a strain on Iberia Express’ operations; however, the opposite seems to be true. As Iberia Express evolves, its performance only becomes stronger.

Additionally, it seems as though Iberia Express has a good record of completing its scheduled flights. In the past five years, their completion factor—or the percentage of scheduled flights completed whether on-time or not—has been at least 99% or above from 2012 to 2016.

Supporting long-haul service with the most on-time routes

To calculate the most on-time Iberia Express routes, we pulled the on-time performance data for each individual route over a five-year period. Since airlines typically add and discontinue routes over time, we only included routes that have been in existence for the entire five-year period in our overall analysis.

Of all its routes, Iberia Express’ flights from Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) in Madrid, Spain to Bilbao Airport (BIO) in Biscay, Spain were the most on-time with an average on-time arrival of 97.1%, followed by:

  • Málaga–Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) to Melilla Airport (MLN): 96.9%
  • Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) to Seville Airport (SVQ): 95.9%
  • Seville Airport (SVQ) to Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD): 95.2%
  • Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) to Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI): 95.1%

For the past five years, nearly all of Iberia Express’ top routes have all been those traveling through Spain’s major airports. The fact that most of Iberia Express’ top routes are in or out of Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) is a testament to how in sync the airline is with its parent company.

Although Iberia Express is an independent airline, it is also a part of Iberia and provides feeder flights onto Iberia’s long-haul network. Iberia Express specifically services many of the smaller markets with short- and medium-haul routes to bring travelers into the hub of Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport. Once they’re in Madrid, travelers use Iberia flights for long-haul service.

Winning the title of the most on-time airline in the international and low-cost carrier categories is a testament to how synchronized Iberia and Iberia Express have become in supporting their business objectives and complementing each other’s networks. Both airlines have to be in sync in order for their network system to work, which means they make significant investments in maintaining timely operations across all routes.

Iberia Express most on-time routes

Over the years, Iberia Express has managed to achieve an on-time arrival of 100% on many of its top routes. This isn’t unusual for a low-cost carrier, especially since several of these routes only include a few hundred flights. As a part of its short- and medium-haul strategy, Iberia Express focuses on offering routes throughout Spain and to luxury resort destinations in Europe, such as Santorini or Ibiza. These routes typically have fewer flights per year than long-haul routes, which allows Iberia Express to operate them extremely efficiently. It’s very clear that if you’re flying in Spain or to a luxury destination around Europe, then you should fly Iberia Express.

Best days to fly with Iberia Express

To calculate Iberia Express’ most on-time day of the week, we averaged the on-time performance for each day across the five-year period. So from 2012 to 2016, Iberia Express’ flights operated on Tuesday had an average 93% on-time arrival. Each day of the week has an average on-time performance of at least 90% or higher.

After reviewing our on-time performance data for each day of the week, we noticed that on-time performance on Friday has seen the most significant improvement. In 2012, on-time performance was 85.41% and in 2016 it was 89.15%. Additionally, each day of the week has seen anywhere from a 1% to a 4% increase in on-time performance over the past five years.

Why you should get OTP data from a third party

When an airline makes a statement about their own operations, they’re often met with skepticism. With all due respect to airlines, many people are distrusting by nature and often doubt that airlines will report accurate information. It can prevent a lot of headaches to use a company like FlightStats to report on-time performance metrics.

Both airlines and their customers can trust that we will report an accurate, reliable ranking of flight status information. This is especially useful to airlines that want to make on-time performance commitments to their corporate customers or tout their impressive on-time performance ranking in marketing materials. Using a third party source like FlightStats provides instant credibility.

Accomplishing more with OTP

Our free monthly on-time performance reports and annual OPS Awards are just the beginning of what you can access. We offer an OTP Analysis Workbook that provides a comprehensive and granular analysis of key performance metrics. These workbooks include visualizations and reports focusing on airline and alliance benchmarking, departure and arrival statistics, trend analysis, carrier performance comparison, and daily/hourly analysis. Reviewing these metrics will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your airline and your competitors. With our data, you can continue to improve your operations and maybe even win our OPS Awards next year. Stay tuned for more five-year on-time performance reviews in the coming weeks.