Two of Spain’s airlines named most punctual in Europe amid travel chaos

Two of Spain's main carriers have been named the most punctual airlines in Europe during June 2022, outperforming many other airlines crippled by strike action and Covid-19 cutbacks.

most punctual airlines spain
Iberia (part of the IAG group) and Air Europa were the airlines with the most flights arriving and taking off on time in June 2022 in Europe. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

So far in 2022 the summer months have been heavily affected by travel problems.

Whether it be strike action by Ryanair and EasyJet’s Spanish cabin crew cancelling flights, Lufthansa scrapping hundreds of flights, Swedish and Danish pilots refusing to fly over pay and working conditions, lost luggage piling up at UK airports, the combination of strike action, intense heatwaves and staff shortages due to Covid-19 cutbacks have all combined to cause hundreds of cancelled and delayed flights every week across the continent.

READ ALSO: Why Ryanair flights to and from Spain have been cancelled?

You’re probably keen, like everyone else, to try and get away on holiday this summer and to make the most of our newfound travel freedoms following the long lockdowns and restrictions that halted international travel.

That is of course if you can avoid the travel chaos, cancellations, delays, and money losses that seem to have become part and parcel of flying these days.

Fortunately, there are some airlines managing to maintain standards and provide a good service. 

So which are the most reliable airlines in Europe?

Europe’s most punctual airlines

In fact, two Spanish airlines – Iberia and Air Europa – have been named as the two most punctual airlines in Europe in the month of June, according to a report from Cirium, an aviation intelligence firm. 

81.34 percent of Iberia’s 13,196 flights arrived at their destination on time, making it the most punctual among European airlines in June.

It must be said, however, that despite their position in the top spot of European airlines, even their punctual performance was affected by the broader travel problems. For example, Iberia’s punctuality performance during June was lower than during May (87.55 percent).

Air Europa was shortly behind with a rate of 79.21 percent on its 5,176 flights during June, good enough to be rated the second most punctual airline in Europe.

Following the two Spanish airlines, the rest of the top 10 is as follows:

3. Norwegian Air Shuttle (72.8 percent)

4. Finnair (71.1 percent)

5. Norwegian Air International (68.6 percent)

6. ITA Airways (66.3 percent)

7. SAS (66.1 percent)

8. Air France (63.4 percent)

9. KLM (60.7 percent)

10. Aegean Airlines (60.3 percent)

International view

Yet Iberia and Europa’s performances in June, punctual as they were, were not enough to be global leaders.

Despite Iberia’s solid fifth place showing internationally, it was Japanese airline ANA that took the top spot with a 92.44 percent rate, and Japan Airlines at number two (91.89 percent).

Brazilian airline Azul rounded out the top three, with an 88.78 percent punctuality rate, and Colombian carrier Avianca came fourth at 82.25 percent. The rest of the top ten, which can be viewed below, was made up by three American airlines, Qatar Airways (71.21 percent) and SAS (66.12 percent).

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EasyJet pilots strike in Spain

EasyJet's Spanish pilots walked out on Friday, calling for the reinstatement of conditions they enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic, two weeks after a strike by the low-cost carrier's cabin crew had resulted in a deal.

EasyJet pilots strike in Spain

Easyjet’s Spanish pilots walked out on Friday, calling for the reinstatement of conditions they enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic, two weeks after a strike by the low-cost carrier’s cabin crew had resulted in a deal.

Coming at the height of the summer tourist season, the new Easyjet stoppages will add to the problems facing the sector.

Cabin crew at budget rival Ryanair have been staging 24-hour walkouts since June, which are likely to continue until January 2023, unions said.

The Easyjet pilots, for their part, are staging a first three-day strike from Friday at the airports of Barcelona, Malaga and the Mediterranean islands of Palma de Majorca and Minorca, the SEPLA union said.

Two more three-day walkouts are planned later in August.

“This is the only possible alternative for the pilots’ representatives, after more than six months of negotiations, at which the company has rejected all proposals made,” the union said.

The airline cancelled eight flights on Friday, most of them from Barcelona, Spain’s second-busiest airport.

“During the worst months of the pandemic, we agreed to lower our salaries to guarantee not only jobs, but the survival of the company itself in Spain,” the union said.

Now, however, the company “refuses to recover the working conditions. “We are not asking for anything that we did not have two years ago,” said a union spokesman.

In late July, EasyJet said it took a sizeable financial hit from sector-wide disruptions, notably staff shortages, but still slashed quarterly losses as demand recovered.

Just days later, EasyJet cabin crews ended their strike, after reaching a deal with management to raise wages by 22 percent over three years.