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Azul Brazilian Airlines plane in air
Photograph: Miguel Lagoa /

Revealed: the airlines that had the fewest delays in 2022

Last year was a chaotic time for aviation – but these airlines still pulled through

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Let’s not beat around the bush: last year the aviation industry was, for the most part, a mess. Unable to cope with huge demand for air travel following the lowering of travel restrictions, airports around the world saw endless queues, huge piles of lost bags and screen after screen of cancelled flights. Not to mention all the strikes that hit airlines and airports.

Amidst all the chaos, however, some airlines proved much more reliable than others. Aviation data company Cirium looked at flights throughout 2022 to to find out which airlines were, statistically speaking, the safest bets. Its study ranked airlines based on their how on-time they were – defined as arriving within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.

Top of Cirium’s study was Azul Brazilian Airlines, which arrived on time a whopping 88.93 percent of the time. Azul ran nearly 280,000 flights last year, so to have only 11 percent of those delayed is pretty impressive.

The next two least-delayed airlines in the list were All Nippon Airlines (88.61 percent on-time) and Japan Airlines (88 percent), both of which are Japanese airlines that flew about 160,000 flights in 2022.

Here are the top ten airlines in the world with the fewest delays in 2022 according to Cirium, along with the percentage of flights that arrived on-time.

  1. Azul Brazilian Airlines, 88.93 percent
  2. All Nippon Airlines, 88.61 percent
  3. Japan Airlines, 88 percent
  4. LATAM Airlines, 86.31 percent
  5. Delta Air Lines, 83.63 percent
  6. Avianca SA, 48 percent
  7. Emirates, 81.30 percent
  8. United Airlines, 80.46 percent
  9. Qatar Airways, 78.32 percent
  10. American Airlines, 78.29 percent

If you’d like to find out more, you can read Cirium’s full study for yourself here. In any case, it’s good to know which airlines are your best bet to arrive on time – even amid times of chaos.

Meanwhile, here are Europe’s nicest airports, the best (and worst) UK airports, the best (and worst) airports in the USA – and our guide to the best airports in the world.

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