‘Pride of Africa’ emerge last among 10 carriers in Middle East and Africa on-time performance

Kenya Airways plane
  • Kenya Airways (KQ) had an average of 47 minutes in delays for its over 54,061 flights it operated last year.
  • As a result, the airline was ranked last among the 10 carriers in Middle East and Africa, on-time performance (OTP) review by Cirium, a London-based airlines advisory and consultancy firm.
  • Qatar Airline was ranked top with 82.45 percent on time arrival.

In 2019, there was nothing to be proud of about the ‘Pride of Africa’ as Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways, likes to brand itself.

Last year, Kenya Airways (KQ) passengers had to endure delays, strikes and pilot sabotage. KQ had an average of 47 minutes in delays for its over 54,061 flights it operated last year, just a slight improvement of its 50 minutes in 2018.

As a result, the airline was ranked last among the 10 carriers in Middle East and Africa, on-time performance (OTP) review in 2019 by Cirium, a London-based airlines advisory and consultancy firm, rates global airlines through their on-time arrivals, departures, average delay in minutes per flight and those that operate within scheduled time.

“Arriving on time at a destination is becoming increasingly important to millions of both leisure and business passengers around the world every day. Therefore, our on-time performance review 2019 is designed to inspire airlines and airports to continually innovate to improve their performance,” the report said.

Kenya Airways Director of Operations Capt Paul Njoroge attributed the airline’s poor show in flight performance to aircraft withdrawals as a result of collision mid last year and industrial action by the airlines unionised employees.

“We were then negatively affected by the withdrawal of two aircraft due to the unfortunate incident in the hangar. This was then coupled by the Kenya Airlines Workers Union (KAWU) strike and pilot shortage in the second and third quarter of last year, which saw the on time performance drop to as low as 67 percent in August 2019,” said Capt Njoroge, adding that this was way below the 81 percent performance they had achieved by April of last year.

In February last year, two of the airline’s Embraer 190 aircraft collided in the hangar while undergoing maintenance which saw them withdrawn from service.

Qatar Airline was ranked top with 82.45 percent on time arrival, followed by Emirates Airlines at 81.02 percent and troubled South African Airlines at 79.38 percent, coming a close third in terms of punctuality.

Ethiopian Airlines scored 74.22 percent and was ranked at 9th position.

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