Published on : Monday, November 13, 2017
A British company that analyses travel data said on Friday that Hong Kong’s No 3 airline had raised to the top of global punctuality rankings with 94.8 percent of flights in October on time – classed as touching down within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival.
The airline had made flight times for a number of destinations longer – at around the same time as the improvements with punctuality began.
The number of international flights to Tokyo Narita used to take 4 hours 10 minutes until March this year, when they started to take 4 hours and 40 minutes instead.
For Taipei, about half of the flights were expected to take 1 hour and 50 minutes, but many were now 10 to 15 minutes longer.
An extra 5 to 15 minutes was added to the size of the flights to Bangkok, previously expected to take 2 hours and 55 minutes, though there were also flights on this route that got shorter by about 20 minutes.
Hong Kong Airlines issued a healthy defense of its practice, saying that the flight punctuality was an issue affecting the business and its image. Tang King-shing, a vice-chairman of the airline said that they are looking on the on timeperformances which was a problem, so that they allowed extra time.
Since Hong Kong Airlines was founded in 2006, it has struggled with timekeeping. A little under two years ago, its flights regularly departed and arrived late, making it one of the worst offenders.
The planes were demoted to distant parking stands, which required passengers and crew to board and disembark using a bus.
This meant it took much longer for passengers, especially those in transit, to reach their next flight, and more time to get a plane airborne again.
It moved into a new passenger terminal at the airport in 2016, with 99 % of flights using a jetty to board and drop off travellers, making it easier to stick to punctuality levels.