Passengers disembark from WestJet’s first-ever flight into Cranbrook. Paul Rodgers photo.

WestJet most punctual airline in Canada, report says

Air Canada, meanwhile, earned 20th place

WestJet Airlines Ltd. is the most punctual airline in Canada, according to a travel data provider.

The Calgary-based carrier placed sixth among airlines in North America last year, OAG said in its annual report examining on-time performance.

The report also lists WestJet at No. 15 among low-cost carriers worldwide, with 79 per cent of its flights on-time.

Air Canada squeaked into the so-called punctuality league, placing 20th among “mega airlines” behind the big U.S. carriers as well as British Airways, Lufthansa, and Air China.

The Montreal-based airline’s on-time performance was 66 per cent, the report said.

Calgary and Edmonton were the only Canadian airports to reach the top 20 for on-time performance, placing 17th and 20th in the large and medium categories, respectively. Notably absent were Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

The report defines on-time performance (OTP) as flights that arrive or depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled times.

Despite a rising tide of frustration against airlines as fees increase and seat space shrinks, OAG data analyst John Grant said airlines and airports “are reaching near peak operational OTP across the world.”

Complaints about airline service in Canada increased more than 570 per cent between 2015-16 and 2017-18, according to the Canadian Transportation Agency.

The vast majority of the 5,565 passenger complaints in 2017-18 were against Canadian carriers. Flight disruptions and baggage issues were the most common reason.

Nonetheless, Air Canada’s operating revenues rose nearly seven per cent year over year to $14.76 billion in the first nine months of 2019.

“It tends to say that customers like to complain, but it doesn’t have a big impact on their buying behaviour,” said Robert Kokonis, president of Toronto-based consulting firm AirTrav Inc.

“You look at the spread between the top North American (airlines), Delta — 83.56 per cent — and Air Canada — 66.42 per cent — that’s a 17 percentage point spread between the carriers, which is quite significant,” Kokonis said.

READ MORE: ‘Unruly’ passenger causes security breach, damages B.C.-bound WestJet plane

Six U.S. airlines made it into the punctuality pantheon among mega airlines — defined as more than 30 million seats scheduled for departure in 2019 — including Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines.

At fourth place among the mega carriers, Delta was the top North American airline in the category with nearly 84 per cent of its flights on-time.

“Delta’s continued OTP dominance is remarkable given the size and range of its operations,” Grant said in a release.

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake veterinarian’s winter tips for four-legged friends

Dr. Sandy Jameson shares tips to help cats and dogs to stay safe and healthy during the winter

Sylvan Lake Wranglers soar over High River Flyers

The Sylvan Lake Wranglers came out of the Sunday night game with a 5-3 victory on home ice

Bantam West Central Tigers claw to victory over Medicine Hat

The West Central Tigers defeated the Medicine Hat Hounds 4-2 at the NexSource Centre on Jan. 18.

Sylvan Lake and Eckville slowly climbing out of the deep freeze

The Weather Network says warmer, more moderate temperatures are on the way

Lacombe County, Clearwater County sign Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework

ICF specifies what and how services are funded and delivered

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Tax revolt? Unpaid taxes from energy companies to Alberta towns more than double

The association says they are owed a total of $173 million

New post-secondary funding model in Alberta tied to performance measures

By 2022, up to 40 per cent of post-secondary funding could be linked to performance

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Meng’s lawyer argues at extradition hearing that fraud allegations are ‘facade’

Hearing underway in Vancouver over U.S. request to extradite Meng Wanzhou

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

Prince Harry and Megan have stepped away from their royal commitments

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

Most Read