How can airlines improve the passenger experience

German Travel Trade

07 January 2020

South African Airways has been named one of the top performing airlines in the world in terms of on-time delivery (OTP) by travel data and analytics company Cirium.

SAA was ranked fourth in the Middle East and Africa Airlines category, ahead of some of the major competitors, making SAA the leading African airline in OTP.

“According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) OTP benchmark, an airline is on time if it arrives within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time or if it departs within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time. We are pleased that we can meet these deadlines in most cases, ”said Zuks Ramasia, acting CEO of SAA.

The overall punctuality of SAA over the route network is 85.69%.

“We are delighted with this latest announcement of our performance. This is a confirmation and an occasion to celebrate great successes, especially when we measure ourselves against our own colleagues around the world. Customers always have a choice and those who fly with us realize that we are a reliable airline. The results speak volumes about the consistency and reliability of our processes - a key feature on which our customer value proposition is based. This is an important feature of our business, ”said Ramasia.

As a member of the largest international airline network, the Star Alliance, SAA serves 57 destinations in South Africa and across the continent in cooperation with SA Express, Airlink and its low-cost airline Mango. SAA also flies to eight intercontinental destinations from its Johannesburg hub.

“We attach great importance to punctuality, as measured by OTP. It's one of our key performance indicators in terms of impact on our customers. The more punctual we are, the happier our customers are. Flight delays can result in costs for the airline and inconvenience for the customer. Delays could lead to further delays requiring rescheduling to restore the flight schedule for the rest of the day and avoid inefficiencies, ”concluded Ramasia.
Cirium works with over 90 percent of the 50 largest airlines in the world. The company, which has published its annual On-Time-Performance-Review (OTP) for the past 11 years, compiles a list of the world's top performing airlines and airports in terms of on-time flight operations.

Jeremy Bowen, CEO of Cirium, said, “Achieving world-class customer satisfaction and industry-leading product differentiation is not just about offering tickets at competitive prices and flight availability. When making a selection, experienced travelers now also take the punctuality of the airlines and operational safety into account.

“We believe that Cirium's On-Time Performance Review 2019 will inspire airlines and airports to continue innovating to improve their performance. By leveraging digital transformation and realizing the full potential of the data, Cirium can help the aviation industry improve their punctuality and passenger experience, ”said Bowen.