AviationAviation analysts agree 2022 wasn’t a great year for the industry, and what needs to be done to fix things in 2023.

The highs, the lows and the world's most punctual airlines

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With fewer planes in the skies, airlines in Asia Pacific rated highly for on-time-performance in 2022.
With fewer planes in the skies, airlines in Asia Pacific rated highly for on-time-performance in 2022. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/applezoomzoom

Airline cancellations in Asia Pacific during 2022 were the highest in the world, but there was a bonus for passengers who did manage to fly.

Fewer planes in Asia Pacific skies meant less pressure on airline and airport services, which resulted in on-time-performance (OTP) across the region being the second highest in the world, behind only Latin America.

Aviation market analyst OAG said in 2022 cancellations in Asia Pacific were impacted by ongoing lockdowns in China, and a slower reopening across the region compared to others. “Notwithstanding this, OTP across Asia Pacific was second highest, at nearly 79%.”

North America had the fewest cancellations in 2022 (0.03% of all scheduled flights), compared with a cancellation rate of 4.2% in Asia Pacific.

Garuda Indonesia was the most punctual global airline with an OTP of 95.6% last year. However, OAG noted that in 2022 Garuda only operated 25% of the flights it had in 2019.

OAG said the reopening of air travel began in earnest in April 2022, “and this really brought into focus the challenge ahead for the industry as bookings came flooding in”.

“What followed was one of the most challenging periods for the industry across many parts of the world as airports and airlines attempted to facilitate the huge demand for travel, and match resources to demand.

“Operationally, most in the industry would agree that the 2022 summer season is not one they would want to repeat. There were just not enough people to enable normal operations to take place at the pace the new demand for travel was setting,” OAG added.

In a separate OTP review, aviation data analyst Cirium noted that staffing shortages would continue to challenge the global air travel industry “and could have long-term impacts affecting on-time performance and reliability throughout 2023 and beyond”.

Cirium called for the industry to be proactive in addressing these issues by recruiting and hiring more personnel “or outsourcing tasks so they can continue providing quality service without sacrificing safety or reliability”.

Cirium’s Platinum Award for 2022 operational excellence went to Delta Airlines in the United States. Other winners:
• Asia Pacific Network: All Nippon
• Asia Pacific Mainline: Thai AirAsia
• MEA Network: Qatar Airways
• MEA Mainline: Oman Air
• Europe: Iberia

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