New figures have revealed Virgin Atlantic was the most punctual airline based in the UK and Ireland during 2019.
Statistics released by Cirium in its annual On-Time Performance Review found out of the airline’s 22,362 European mainland flights and 23,930 European network flights, about 78% took off on time throughout last year.
It also came out the most punctual in 2018, rising from fourth place in 2017.
Although it pipped British Airways, Ryanair, Aer Lingus and easyJet to the top spot for the UK and Ireland, those airlines are operating considerably more flights.
For example, Ryanair flew 803,547 aircraft to its European network during 2019 and had a punctuality score of 77.05%.
However, none of these UK and Ireland carriers made it into the top five global ranking – Russia’s Aeroflot came out top both worldwide and in Europe with an 86.7% punctuality record in 2019.
Cirium’s review also named Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International as the world’s most punctual airport, with 95% of flights departing on time.
"Airlines and airports which consistently operate on time and go that extra mile for their customers deserve to be recognised in an increasingly competitive environment and should be justifiably proud of reaching such a world-class industry standard," said Jeremy Bowen, Cirium’s chief executive.
The company used 600 sources to track more than 100,000 flights a day.
It classes a flight as "on time" if the aircraft arrives at the gate less than 15 minutes before the scheduled arrival time.