SriLankan Airlines has achieved the remarkable feat of being named the world’s most punctual airline in the month of September 2018 in the key categories of ‘Global Airlines’ and ‘Major Airlines’, by the flight data analysis company Flightstats.com.
An extraordinary 91.37 per cent of SriLankan Airlines’ flights in September 2018 were on time according to an analysis by Flightstats
Flightstats analysed data of 41 carriers in the category of ‘Global Airlines’ across every continent – Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East, and South America – including most of the world’s largest and most prestigious airlines. Airlines are categorized among four categories – the others being Regional Airlines and Low Cost Carriers – with some airlines appearing in more than one category.
In the ‘Global Airlines’ category, SriLankan’s punctuality was far ahead of the giant U.S. based carrier Delta Airlines that was in second place with 86.74 per cent flights on time, while third place went to the Japanese airline ANA with 86.61 per cent on time.
In the ‘Major Airlines’ category, SriLankan was easily ahead of India’s IndiGo that was in second place with 86.92 per cent of flights being on time, and ANA which was third.
SriLankan’s exceptional performance came on the heels of the airline having launched its dynamic new ‘Ready to Fly!’ programme at the beginning of Sept 2018, to enhance its world-renowned customer service by providing increased punctuality levels of its flights around the world.
SriLankan’s consistently high level of on-time performance is the result of a structured process that monitors and co-ordinates the performance of all departments and individual staff members responsible for various aspects of its operations. The degree of attention given for punctuality monitoring is infallibly high with zero tolerance for slips in the process. This precision process of coordination involves many internal and external entities and it is noteworthy that this is carried out in a highly regulated industry where 100 per cent compliance is expected for all statutory obligations.
A strict daily monitoring process examines every aspect of each flight and identifies shortcomings, with a measured process for immediate corrective measures and strict attribution of accountability. Root causes are examined, and delays attributed under concerned departments with remedial action, followed by weekly punctuality improvement meetings, and monitoring of follow up action and progress.
Maintaining a high level of on-time performance is all the more creditable due to the fact that a far greater proportion of delays are beyond the control of the airline. These are unforeseen events that are classified as ‘non-airline responsible’ such as air traffic control related issues at congested airports, adverse weather, constraints of insufficient infrastructure at airports in many parts of the world, industrial unrest at some airports, flight diversions due to medical emergencies, bird strikes on aircraft, and delays in offloading baggage a few minutes prior to scheduled departure times when passengers do not turn up at airport boarding gates after having checked in.
SriLankan Airlines places its highest priority on the complete safety of all its passengers, which means that all safety related matters are comprehensively attended to, no matter their impact on flight punctuality. For example, technical issues related to an aircraft are immediately attended to, ensuring 100 per cent airworthiness of aircraft in keeping with the highest standards of safety.
Sri Lanka’s National Carrier, which holds a prestigious Four Star Rating from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), is a member of the oneworld global airline alliance, and operates a route network of 114 cities in 48 countries from its hub in Colombo.