FlightStats conducted a study at dozens of the world’s highest-traffic airports, examining thousands of flights from each during the month of June to see how frequently they left on time. The more likely a flight from that airport was to leave on time, the better the airport could be said to perform.
According to the study, the world’s most reliable major airports are in Japan and its least reliable are in China. The two best performing airports are in Tokyo: Flights out of Haneda and Narita had, respectively, a 95.04 and 86.38 chance of leaving on time.
The two worst performing airports were also in East Asia, but in China: Beijing and Shanghai. Only 28.72% of Shanghai flights left on time. In Beijing, it was only 18.3%, the lowest in the world.
Some European airports also reported high rates of delays. Istanbul and Moscow are two of the only other airports where a flight had a less than 50% chance of leaving on time. Rome and Paris, despite being in wealthy European capitals but maybe because of all the tourist traffic, scored just under 60% on-time departures.
One interesting case is New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport. It’s big, moving about as much traffic as Newark or London Gatwick, but managed a higher on-time score than both: an impressive 84.28%. Only 1% of New Delhi departures were cancelled.
India is often described as having poor infrastructure compared to the West, while China’s infrastructure is often praised as a big success story. Broadly speaking, that might be true, but Indira Gandhi International is a nice counter-factual, proof that sometimes Indian infrastructure can outperform much of the world’s.
I travel through Indira Gandhi International airport several times a year and the facilities and infrastructure at this airport are really praiseworthy.
Hat Tip: Washington Post