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World’s Most Punctual Airlines Revealed

Some airlines are as dependable as a broken clock. But there are other carriers that consistently get their planes to the gate on time—and FlightStats, which tracks flight performance data across the airline industry, is honoring them for their punctuality.

On Sunday FlightStats announced the winners of its annual On-Time Performance Service (OPS) Awards for airlines and airports. We know you’re dying to find out if your favorite airline prevailed, so we’ll get right to it: Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways, which maintained a 90 percent on-time flight arrival record, won the trophy for Best Arrival Performance Among Major International Airlines. And Alaska Airlines received the title of Best Arrival Performance Among North American Airlines. About 88 percent of Alaska Airlines flights showed up on schedule in 2011.

Airports were also awarded gold stars—or, in this case, a fancy FlightStats trophy—for punctuality. Top honors went to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which won for Departure Performance Among Major International Airports, and Salt Lake City International Airport, which was the champion hub in the Departure Performance Among Major North American Airports category. To see the full list of conquering heroes, visit the Flightstats On-Time Performance Service Awards website.

FlightStats, which keeps tabs on the operations of about 150,000 flights every day, bestows OPS Awards on the airlines and airports that consistently get passengers to their destinations on time. “On time,” according to FlightStats, means within 15 minutes of scheduled departure or arrival. Winning airlines were selected based on on-time arrivals for scheduled passenger flights. For airports, FlightStats tallied statistics for on-time passenger flight departures at each hub to determine the top honorees.

In an industry in which seats are shrinking and fares are going up, it’s refreshing to see some good news for travelers. What do you think about FlightStats’ picks for punctual airlines and airports? Will you consider airline on-time performance when booking your next flight?

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