Special Report

18 Airlines That Are Constantly Delayed

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Air travel is stressful for many people, and not just because of fear of flying. More and more flights seem overcrowded — even when they’re not actually overbooked — with less elbow room and legroom and additional fees and surcharges.

Regardless of whether you’re being pampered in first class or sandwiched between two sumo wrestlers in economy, you arrive at the same time as every other passenger on your plane. Delays are the great equalizer.

Different airlines have very different track records when it comes to delays, and that can be a major consideration for travelers with tight connections or important meetings. Based on a review of flight data compiled by FlightStats, which tracks monthly flight data. 24/7 Wall St. has identified the airlines with the most and least delays.

Click here to see the airlines that are constantly delayed.
Click here to see the airlines with the fewest delays.

Not surprisingly, several of the worst offenders are also discount airlines, like the American airline JetBlue or Britain’s EasyJet. Canada’s low-cost carrier WestJet, however, has managed to maintain a good track record.

Of course, punctuality isn’t everything: Brazil’s LATAM Airlines ranks among the most on-time airlines but also among the least safe. So the next time you book a flight, in addition to safety, cost, and convenience, you may also want to consider an airline’s on-time performance record.

To identify the airlines with the best and worst on-time track record, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed flight data collected by FlightStats. Airlines are ranked based on the share of total flights in July 2017 that missed their planned arrival time by at least 15 minutes. To count among the airlines with the most delays, at least one-third of an airline’s flights must have been delayed in July. To make the list of the airlines with the fewest delays, less than 20% of flights for July had to be delayed. FlightStats only considers airlines for which at least 65% of monthly flights are tracked.

Airlines That Are Constantly Delayed

Source: Gertan / Shutterstock.com

18. Air Canada
> Flights delayed: 33.4%
> # of July flights: 54,439
> Average length of delay: 52.5 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Canada

Air Canada is the flag carrier and the largest airline in Canada. In July 2017, an Air Canada flight almost caused the largest disaster in airline history when it attempted to land on the taxiway rather than the runway at San Francisco International Airport.


Source: Chris Parypa Photography / Shutterstock.com

17. Korean Air
> Flights delayed: 34.9%
> # of July flights: 13,130
> Average length of delay: 36.6 minutes
> Nation headquartered: South Korea

Korean Air is the flag carrier and largest airline of South Korea. Its international division serves 129 cities in 44 countries. In 2014, Korean Air suffered a unique “nut rage” delay when the chairman’s daughter ordered a flight to return to the gate after an attendant served her nuts in a bag rather than on a plate.

Source: Roman Vukolov / Shutterstock.com

16. easyJet
> Flights delayed: 35.1%
> # of July flights: 50,558
> Average length of delay: 51.8 minutes
> Nation headquartered: United Kingdom

Low-cost carrier easyJet has expanded dramatically since it was founded with two aircraft and two routes in 1995. It now has over 820 routes in more than 30 countries

Source: Zhou Eka / Shutterstock.com

15. Air Asia
> Flights delayed: 35.4%
> # of July flights: 15,582
> Average length of delay: 45.3 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Malaysia

Air Asia is the largest airline in Malaysia by fleet size and destinations. It has pioneered low-cost air travel in Asia and claims to have the lowest costs per seat per kilometer traveled of any airline in the world.


Source: Carlos Yudica / Shutterstock.com

14. JetBlue Airways
> Flights delayed: 35.9%
> # of July flights: 32,720
> Average length of delay: 78.5 minutes
> Nation headquartered: United States

Low-cost carrier JetBlue serves more than 100 destinations in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Source: Konwicki Marcin / Shutterstock.com

13. LOT-Polish Airlines
> Flights delayed: 36.4%
> # of July flights: 9,577
> Average length of delay: 44.1 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Poland

LOT is the flag carrier of Poland and one of the oldest airlines in operation. LOT, which is in the process of expanding and replacing its fleet, was the first European airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Source: Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com

12. Asiana Airlines
> Flights delayed: 36.6%
> # of July flights: 8,907
> Average length of delay: 42.9 minutes
> Nation headquartered: South Korea

Until the establishment of Asiana in 1988, Korean Air had a monopoly on the South Korean airline industry. Now a global airline with a focus on long-haul flights, Asiana is a member of the Star Alliance network of airlines.


Source: Chris Parypa Photography / Shutterstock.com

11. Air Canada Rouge
> Flights delayed: 37.0%
> # of July flights: 4,406
> Average length of delay: 58.5 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Canada

Air Canada Rouge is a leisure subsidiary of Air Canada. It began operations in 2013 and now flies to vacation destinations around the world.

Source: Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com

10. Ethiopian Airlines
> Flights delayed: 37.3%
> # of July flights: 8,429
> Average length of delay: 49.1 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Ethiopia

Fast-growing Ethiopian Airlines flies to more destinations in Africa than any other airline. It has suffered a number of fatal accidents and incidents but still has a better safety record than other airlines on the continent.

Source: Yatrik Sheth / Shutterstock.com

9. Jet Airways (India)
> Flights delayed: 37.5%
> # of July flights: 17,881
> Average length of delay: 43.4 minutes
> Nation headquartered: India

Jet Airways was the largest carrier in India until it was overtaken by IndiGo in 2012. It is considering eliminating first class on its Boeing 777 aircraft in an effort to increase revenue and reduce costs.


Source: Miglena Pencheva / Shutterstock.com

> Flights delayed: 40.3%
> # of July flights: 5,494
> Average length of delay: 52.1 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Austria

Niki was launched by Austrian racing driver Niki Lauda in 2003 and later merged with Air Berlin. Its parent has filed for insolvency, and Niki may end up being acquired by German flag carrier Lufthansa.

Source: FRANCU Constantin / Shutterstock.com

7. Sky Regional
> Flights delayed: 41.4%
> # of July flights: 3,835
> Average length of delay: 61.1 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Canada

Sky Regional began operation under the Air Canada Express brand in 2011. It has been expanding its fleet and adding destinations in the United States since then.

Source: SvedOliver / Shutterstock.com

6. TAP Portugal
> Flights delayed: 43.7%
> # of July flights: 11,806
> Average length of delay: 45.3 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Portugal

TAP is the flag carrier of Portugal. Portugal privatized the airline in 2015 as part of its agreement when receiving a national bailout following the financial crisis. However, the government is in the process of reversing that privatization.


Source: Mike Fuchslocher / Shutterstock.com

5. Pakistan International Airlines
> Flights delayed: 45.8%
> # of July flights: 3,412
> Average length of delay: 88.3 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Pakistan

Pakistan International Airlines is the country’s flag carrier and largest airline. The airline says Pakistan’s aviation industry is growing at up to 10% pace per year, more than double the 3.5% to 4% growth in the global aviation industry.

Source: DayOwl / Shutterstock.com

4. Porter Airlines
> Flights delayed: 46.5%
> # of July flights: 5,318
> Average length of delay: 56.1 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Canada

Porter is a regional airline offering flights between Toronto and destinations in Canada and the U.S. using Canadian-built Bombardier turboprop aircraft.

Source: Ryan Fletcher / Shutterstock.com

3. Cathay Pacific
> Flights delayed: 48.1%
> # of July flights: 8,446
> Average length of delay: 62.3 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong. Notwithstanding its ranking among airlines with the most delays, it has won the World’s Best Airline award four times by SkyTrax.


Source: Andrey Khachatryan / Shutterstock.com

2. Air India
> Flights delayed: 49.3%
> # of July flights: 13,152
> Average length of delay: 50.8 minutes
> Nation headquartered: India

Air India is the flag carrier of India. It operates the world’s longest nonstop regularly scheduled commercial flight, flying 9,500 miles from Delhi to San Francisco over the Pacific rather than the Atlantic to take advantage of jetstream winds.

Source: Toni Schmidt / Shutterstock.com

1. Beijing Capital Airlines
> Flights delayed: 52.5%
> # of July flights: 9,797
> Average length of delay: 115.9 minutes
> Nation headquartered: China

Beijing Capital is a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines. It launched its first service in 2010 from Beijing Capital International Airport and focused initially on the domestic market. It opened 14 new international routes in 2016 and announced plans to serve cities as far afield as Sydney and Moscow.

Airlines With the Fewest Delays

Source: Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com

22. LATAM Airlines Brasil
> Flights delayed: 19.9%
> # of July flights: 20,124
> Average length of delay: 42.5 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Brazil

LATAM is Brazil’s largest airline, although it is not the flag carrier. Of the airlines on our list, it has the lowest ranking for air safety from the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre.


Source: Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock.com

21. Sky West Airlines
> Flights delayed: 19.7%
> # of July flights: 67,107
> Average length of delay: 78.6 minutes
> Nation headquartered: United States

SkyWest is a Utah-based regional carrier. It has a fleet of 410 aircraft and operates only jets.

Source: Chris Parypa Photography / Shutterstock.com

20. WestJet
> Flights delayed: 19.6%
> # of July flights: 21,950
> Average length of delay: 46.5 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Canada

Low-cost carrier WestJet is the second-largest Canadian airline behind Air Canada.

Source: Fedor Selivanov / Shutterstock.com

19. Singapore Airlines
> Flights delayed: 18.9%
> # of July flights: 7,380
> Average length of delay: 40.4 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Singapore

Singapore’s flag carrier, Singapore Airlines, was the first to operate the Airbus A380, with a flight to Sydney. However, last year it dealt a blow to the superjumbo’s prospects when it decided not to renew the lease for its first plane. The airline was rated the best international airline in the world by Travel and Leisure.

Source: Santiparp Wattanaporn / Shutterstock.com

18. Mesa Airlines
> Flights delayed: 18.5%
> # of July flights: 20,072
> Average length of delay: 70.4 minutes
> Nation headquartered: United States

Arizona-based Mesa is a regional airline that has code-sharing agreements with American Airlines and United Airlines.


Source: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com

17. Delta AirLines
> Flights delayed: 18.4%
> # of July flights: 171,302
> Average length of delay: 75.2 minutes
> Nation headquartered: United States

Delta is one of the largest airlines in the United States and the oldest still operating. Its headquarters and largest hub are in Atlanta.

Source: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com

16. Gol
> Flights delayed: 17.2%
> # of July flights: 22,585
> Average length of delay: 32.0 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Brazil

Launched in 2001, Gol claims to serve the most passengers in Brazil, operating around 900 flights every day. It is a fast-growing airline but has a low safety ranking from the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre.

Source: Tupungato / Shutterstock.com

15. Avianca Brazil
> Flights delayed: 17.1%
> # of July flights: 7,614
> Average length of delay: 39.6 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Brazil

Avianca was originally launched as OceanAir in 1998 to provide air taxi services for the oil industry. It has since grown to become the fourth largest domestic carrier in Brazil.


Source: Edith Rum / Shutterstock.com

14. KLM
> Flights delayed: 16.2%
> # of July flights: 22,567
> Average length of delay: 36.8 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Netherlands

KLM is the flag carrier of the Netherlands and is the oldest airline still operating under its original name. KLM merged with Air France in 2004, but both airlines retained their own brands.

Source: Carlos Yudica / Shutterstock.com

13. Iberia
> Flights delayed: 15.2%
> # of July flights: 17,918
> Average length of delay: 41.4 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Spain

Spain’s flag carrier, Iberia, was founded in 1927. It merged with British Airways in 2011, resulting in the creation of the International Airlines Group (IAG). Subsidiary Iberia Express ranks even better on our survey.

Source: Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock.com

12. Horizon Air
> Flights delayed: 15.1%
> # of July flights: 11,907
> Average length of delay: 39.5 minutes
> Nation headquartered: United States

Seattle-based Horizon was acquired by Alaska Air Group in 1986 and branded separately until 2011. Its flights are now marketed by Alaska Airlines, but the company is still in operation.

Source: Alex JW Robinson / Shutterstock.com

11. WestJet Encore
> Flights delayed: 14.9%
> # of July flights: 7,819
> Average length of delay: 51.6 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Canada

WestJet Encore is a subsidiary of low-cost carrier WestJet. It was launched in 2013 to meet the needs of underserved communities in Canada.


Source: thipjang / Shutterstock.com

10. ANA
> Flights delayed: 14.9%
> # of July flights: 30,616
> Average length of delay: 35.7 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Japan

ANA, or All Nippon Airways, is Japan’s largest airline – larger even than flag carrier JAL. Its international operations focus on business destinations.

Source: Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock.com

9. Etihad Airways
> Flights delayed: 14.8%
> # of July flights: 8,565
> Average length of delay: 37.8 minutes
> Nation headquartered: United Arab Emirates

Etihad was established by royal decree in 2003 as the second flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates. It has expanded aggressively and acquired stakes in other airlines, including the now-bankrupt Alitalia and Air Berlin.

Source: NextNewMedia / Shutterstock.com

8. Qatar Airways
> Flights delayed: 14.6%
> # of July flights: 14,432
> Average length of delay: 39.3 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Qatar

Qatar Airways is the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar. Due to a recent diplomatic crisis, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates recently banned flights to and from Qatar.


Source: Matheus Obst / Shutterstock.com

7. Azul
> Flights delayed: 14.6%
> # of July flights: 21,229
> Average length of delay: 41.3 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Brazil

Azul was founded by former JetBlue founder and CEO David Neeleman in 2008. It was recently ranked as South America’s most on-time airline by the Official Airline Guide.

Source: Olaf Schulz / Shutterstock.com

6. Air Baltic
> Flights delayed: 14.5%
> # of July flights: 4,817
> Average length of delay: 36.7 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Latvia

Air Baltic is Latvia’s low-cost flag carrier. It was established in 1995 as part of a joint venture with Scandinavian Airlines.

Source: Fasttailwind / Shutterstock.com

5. SriLankan Airlines
> Flights delayed: 13.2%
> # of July flights: 3,668
> Average length of delay: 41.6 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Sri Lanka

SriLankan Airlines is the flag carrier of Sri Lanka. Operating from a hub at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, it serves 100 destinations in 47 countries. It joined the Oneworld airline alliance in 2014.

Source: Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock.com

4. Compass Airlines
> Flights delayed: 11.8%
> # of July flights: 8,640
> Average length of delay: 64.5 minutes
> Nation headquartered: United States

Compass Airlines is a regional airline headquartered in Minneapolis. It operates for American Airlines as American Eagle and for Delta Air Lines as Delta Connection.

Source: JAL / Shutterstock.com

3. JAL
> Flights delayed: 11.0%
> # of July flights: 24,564
> Average length of delay: 33.5 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Japan

JAL is the flag carrier of Japan, although it is smaller than local rival ANA. It’s no surprise to see JAL rank so highly – FlightStats named it the best Asia-Pacific major airline in its annual awards.


Source: InsectWorld / Shutterstock.com

2. Iberia Express
> Flights delayed: 9.0%
> # of July flights: 3,060
> Average length of delay: 42.6 minutes
> Nation headquartered: Spain

Iberia Express is a low-cost Madrid-based airline that operates short and medium-haul flights and offers connections for parent Iberia’s long-haul customers

Source: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com

1. Hawaiian Airlines
> Flights delayed: 7.6%
> # of July flights: 7,779
> Average length of delay: 40.8 minutes
> Nation headquartered: United States

Hawaiian Airlines is the largest airline in Hawaii and the eighth largest commercial airline in the United States. It offers flights to Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the mainland. Perhaps its top ranking on our list has something to do with Hawaii’s famous Aloha spirit.

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