Great expectations – lifting the lid on airline on-time performance
In this report, OAG, with the world’s largest network of air travel data and realtime Flight Status database, examines how OTP is measured and how flight schedules, with timetabled departures and arrivals, still play a fundamental role within the airline product.
Airline on-time performance (OTP) plays a valuable role in the aviation industry, but how that OTP is measured has recently come into question as a tool to reflect an airline’s continuing success. At the heart of the criticism is the observation that some airline schedules have been ‘padded’ over the years, making it easier to reach performance targets.
In this report, OAG, with the world’s largest network of air travel data and realtime Flight Status database, examines how OTP is measured and how flight schedules, with timetabled departures and arrivals, still play a fundamental role within the airline product. We also examine the critique of OTP which is presented by the new ways of looking at schedule performance as well as the evidence for ‘padding’, exploring the reasons why scheduled flight times on identical routes may vary sometimes.
What is On-Time Performance?
An airline departure or arrival which is considered to be on time has a departure or arrival that occurs within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. The measurement and publication of data about on-time performance acts as a powerful key performance indicator (KPI) for airlines and airports, and is also a potential service differentiator for marketing the product to air travellers.
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