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Qatar Airways Claims Title of Most On-time in the Middle East

If you work in travel, then you’re all too familiar with the fact that many travelers have a difficult time understanding that delays will happen. It is the nature of air travel.

Although you are entrusted to get travelers from point A to point B promptly, it’s more important that you get travelers from point A to point B safely. And there are so many elements that go into getting a single traveler from point A to point B, including factors that are beyond an airline’s control such as inclement weather and air traffic. An airline that achieves exceptional on-time performance can proudly announce that they have done a good job in spite of everything that has worked against them.

For the next few weeks, we are releasing a five-year on-time performance review of each airline that has won one of our On-time Performance Service Awards multiple years in a row. This week, we are highlighting the performance of Qatar Airways. Qatar has been the most punctual airline in the Middle East for two consecutive years.

Check out our infographic to see how Qatar has progressed to become the most on-time airline in the Middle East:

Qatar Airways On-time Performance

Qatar is the best of the best in the Middle East

In 2012, we improved our data coverage enough to begin recognizing the Middle East for their on-time performance and created a category for most on-time Middle Eastern Major Airline. Since the category was created, Qatar was in the top five each year and has consistently improved its on-time performance. Now, the airline is head and shoulders above the rest and has claimed the title two out of five times with an average on-time performance of 82.7%.

Qatar’s on-time arrival for the past five years:

  • 2012: 81.45%
  • 2013: 81.00%
  • 2014: 78.89%
  • 2015: 85.93%
  • 2016: 86.34%

From 2014 to 2015, Qatar’s on-time performance increased significantly. Jumping from an on-time arrival of 78.89% in 2014 to an on-time arrival of 85.93% in 2015, Qatar managed to create a 7.04% improvement in its operations in a single year.

Flying more, but getting better

One of the most significant metrics we noticed in our analysis was the number of flights Qatar has added over the years. In 2012, we tracked 120,993 flights for Qatar and by 2016 this number rose to 183,738 flights. Adding over 60,000 new flights could have put a strain on Qatar’s operations; however, the opposite seems to be true. As Qatar evolves, its performance has become stronger. The most drastic increase in flights occurred between 2014 and 2016 when Qatar added over 40,000 flights in the span of two years. Rather than seeing a decline in on-time arrivals, Qatar’s performance increased by 7.45%.

Additionally, it seems as though Qatar 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 of not—has been at least 99.5% or above for the past five years.

A look at their most on-time routes

To calculate the most on-time routes Qatar 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, Qatar’s flights from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi, Kenya to Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar were the most on-time with an average on-time arrival of 94.27%, followed by:

  • Muharraq, Bahrain (BAH) to Doha, Qatar (DOH): 93.02%
  • Hulhulé, Malé or the Maldives (MLE) to Doha, Qatar (DOH): 91.90%
  • Dammam, Saudi Arabia (DMM) to Doha, Qatar (DOH): 91.18%
  • Muscat, Oman (MCT) to Doha, Qatar (DOH): 89.76%

It’s very clear that if you’re flying into Qatar from major airports in the Middle East, then you should fly Qatar. For the past five years, nearly all of Qatar’s top routes have all been those traveling into Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar.


Best days to fly with Qatar

To calculate Qatar’s 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, Qatar flights operated on Saturday had an average 84.39% on-time arrival.

After reviewing our on-time performance data for each day of the week, we noticed that on-time performance on Sunday has seen the most significant improvement. In 2012, on-time performance for Sunday was 80.34% and in 2016 it was 87.11%. Additionally, each day of the week has seen anywhere from a 4% to a 7% 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.