ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Srilankan Airlines had been named the world’s most punctual airline with 90.75 percent of its flights arriving on time in May 2019, by the portal flightstats.com.
"This is the second time in less than 12 months that SriLankan has achieved this milestone, having also achieved the world’s number one ranking in September 2018 with a punctuality rating of 91.3 7 percent, the airline said.
"SriLankan’s consistently high level of on-time performance is the result of an exhaustive process that co-ordinates the performance of all departments and individual staff members responsible for various aspects of its operations throughout its global route network.
"It also involves managing situations that arise which are not under the direct control of the airline such as adverse weather, working with foreign airport agencies, Customs and Immigration delays, delays by passengers."
The airline said it was a challenging achievement given heightened security at is hub Colombo airport.
Vipula Gunatilleka, Group Chief Executive Officer of SriLankan, said the airline’s Punctuality Improvement Committee "toils day in and day out" to ensure that flights depart and arrive on time.
Flightstats.com had tracked 78 percent of 3,282 flights operated by SriLankan.
In second place was LATAM Airlines with 38,202 flights, third was All Nippon Airways with 29,536 flights. Singapore Airlines was in 8th place with 7,987 flights. Emirates was in 10th place with 12,615 flights.
In the 1980s, soon after the airline was set up, wags used to call it ‘Usually Late’ after the prefix UL was assigned to the carrier.