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By Tony Brooks, Senior valuations analyst, ISTAT appraiser, Cirium Ascend Consultancy
Today, I thought I would present my thoughts surrounding a subject that’s regularly mentioned in the news, namely On-Time-Performance (OTP). What is it, how is it measured and why is it such an important metric, especially today in an environment of increasing demand, high costs and tight labour and parts supply. OTP statistics are important enough to be regularly mentioned within an Airline’s financial results along with Passenger Load Factors and Yield information and are used as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) by many.
On-Time Performance is a measurement which allows us to compare the punctuality rates between Airlines according to their published schedules. A flight is considered ‘on-time’ when it arrives or departs within 15 minutes of its scheduled timetable. According to the latest On-Time Performance Monthly Report from Cirium, Low-Cost-Carrier (LCC) Safair enjoyed 93.13% on-time-arrivals in August 2023 ranking the carrier first from over 1,300 airlines tracked. This is an impressive result taking into account the fact that LCC’s operate traditionally high-density, short-turnaround flights and sit generally lower down the rankings.
Passenger satisfaction can fluctuate according to the level of OTP attained by a particular Airline and is a powerful tool in brand marketing campaigns when consistently high. However, the level of OTP can affect other areas of an Airline’s operation which sometimes get overlooked.
An Airline with a consistently low OTP may find it more difficult to plan future maintenance events if an aircraft’s schedule is constantly changing due to delays.
With maintenance slots themselves becoming more difficult to reserve through labour shortages and parts supply issues, an aircraft could be temporarily grounded through expired maintenance as a direct result of low OTP results.
We now live in a world where aviation-related emissions statistics are forever under the microscope. Aircraft regularly burn fuel waiting for available gates and as air travel demand increases with many airports close to maximum capacity, delays and resulting pollution coupled with financial implications will only get worse.
A consistently low OTP will ultimately prove expensive for an operator.
Using 2022 Department of Transport (DOT) Form 41 data for U.S. scheduled Airlines, it was estimated every minute of delay for one aircraft costs around $100. It is estimated delays cost over $1 billion each year to the industry, a vast sum which could be put to better use towards investment in airline and airport infrastructure.
With so much more at stake with poor OTP performance than passenger satisfaction, global Airlines have a valuable tool in OTP which can help contribute towards providing practical solutions going forward.
Learn more about Cirium On-Time Performance
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