How airlines and airports can capitalize on on-time performance

Past On-Time Performance Review winners like JAL, Iberia and Delta have creatively promoted their win

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn, written by Jim Hetzel, Head of Product Management- Air Operations at Cirium. 

To view Cirium’s On-Time Performance Review 2019, please click here.

It’s an exciting time of year for Cirium as we announce the winners of our eleventh annual On-Time Performance Review for airlines and airports.

A lot of hard work goes into making sure a flight is on-time and any number of things can go wrong that are beyond any airline’s control. Factors like airport congestion, taxi times from the runways, gate availability, those tend to be in the control of air traffic control or the airport itself. If you have exceptional on-time performance, then you can proudly announce that you’ve done a good job in spite of everything that has worked against you.

To tell you the truth, airlines and airports do not get nearly enough credit for how difficult it is to provide air transportation. Although you are expected to get travelers from point A to point B on time, it’s more important that you get travelers from point A to point B safely. Many travelers have a difficult time understanding that delays will happen. It is the nature of air travel.

Here are a few ways airlines and airports can capitalize on their on-time performance:

Feed it to the marketing department

Customer satisfaction is about more than airfare discounts and flight availability. When considering an airline, travelers also need timeliness and assurance.

Traveler experience and brand reputation is impacted by real-time changes within your operations. Fluctuations in your activities, or your competitors, can swing value in your favor.

When an airline makes a statement about on-time performance, they’re often met with skepticism because the public often doubts an airline would report accurate information about itself. Promoting performance numbers reported by a third party helps remove that skepticism and increase credibility.

If you have an impressive on-time performance ranking, then you can leverage that information as content for your promotional channels, including social media, corporate blogs and advertisements. For example:

  • Japan Airlines displayed their award recognition on the homepage of their website when they were named the most on-time airline in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) published a press release when they were named the most on-time airport in the world.
  • Iberia Airlines included their accomplishment of most on-time airline in Europe in their cover photo on Twitter and shared several posts about their win.
Work it into sales discussions with key accounts

After promoting your on-time performance to the general traveler audience, you can also use it to strengthen relationships with corporations and their business travelers. Many airlines already use their on-time performance ranking to offer service level agreements to corporations that greatly influence purchasing decisions. As for airports, you can include your outstanding on-time performance in your pitches to the airlines you want to fly to your airport.

A few years ago, both Delta and United started offering an Operational Performance Commitment (OPC) in their corporate contracts, promising to pay corporate customers if they don’t maintain better on-time performance than their competitors. As a result, corporate customers are becoming more loyal because of the effort airlines are making to hold themselves to a higher standard.

Use it for operations analysis to pinpoint improvement projects

The beauty of living in the age of big data is that is allows airlines and airports to take a deeper look at what they can change to impact on-time performance. Airlines and airports can create visibility to flag operations issues by building on-time metrics into their performance tracking. Monitoring on-time performance by route, by airport, and by aircraft, allows airlines and airports to use data analytics to bring the obviously low hanging fruit to the forefront and make quick changes to gradually improve their operations. Many of the most data-driven airlines and airports hold weekly operational leadership meetings where team members from divisions across the airline gather to analyze individual details that had an impact on on-time performance.

View the 2019 On-Time Performance Review to take a more detailed look at how airlines and airports stack up.

On-time performance data can help you understand the performance of your network and codeshare partners. Be diligent about evaluating partner performance or thinking strategically about how to become more synchronized. It’s essential to reputation management and overall operational numbers that partnerships support your business objectives.

11th annual On-Time Performance Review

Determining the winners of the On-Time Performance Review requires a team of data experts applying advanced analytics to examine flight status arrival and departure data aggregated from global sources including civil aviation authorities, airlines, airports, and major online reservation systems.

To learn more about our processes and criteria for selecting the award winners, download our brochure.

If you believe your airline or airport’s flights are not fully covered in our database, please contact us and our team would be happy to discuss our Airline Partnership Program where we can integrate your real-time flight status data at no cost and provide you with tools to help monitor and benchmark your on-time performance.

Looking for ways to improve your on-time performance? We offer custom Workbooks for Operational Intelligence, which contain live dashboards that help you manage operations in real time by incorporating new insights into your strategic planning process. See where to optimize performance with a comprehensive view of daily, weekly or monthly flights at the airline, airport, market and route levels. Request a demo today.

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