South Africa’s most on-time domestic airlines of 2015

July 14, 2015

south african domestic airlines

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) monitor the on-time performance results of domestic airlines’ flying out of South Africa’s three major airports, Cape Town International, OR Tambo International in Johannesburg, and King Shaka International Airport in Durban. As we are now halfway through 2015, we thought that we should look at which airlines have been the most on-time for the year so far. 

The on-time performance of a flight is measured by comparing the off-block time (the moment when the aircraft pushes back) against the precise time that the flight was scheduled to take off. The International Airlines Transport Association’s (IATA) universal standard benchmark is used to measure the on-time performance. The standard allows for a 15 minute deviation from the scheduled time of departure as an on-time departure. That means that if the aircraft pushes back within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time, the flight will be judged as an on-time flight.

OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg

  1. FlySafair – 93.91%
  2. SA Airlink – 91.89%
  3. South African Airways – 91.16%
  4. British Airways South Africa – 86.72%
  5. Kulula – 86.51%
  6. Mango – 85.00%
  7. SA Express – 78.17%

ACSA airport target 87%

Cape Town International

  1. SA Airlink – 95.21%
  2. FlySafair – 94.93%
  3. South African Airways – 92.51%
  4. Mango – 90.43%
  5. Kulula – 90.10%
  6. SA Express – 89.38%
  7. British Airways South Africa – 88.73%

ACSA airport target 90%

King Shaka International, Durban

  1. South African Airways – 94.80%
  2. SA Airlink – 92.94%
  3. SA Express – 88.28%
  4. Mango – 87.36%
  5. Kulula – 86.81%
  6. British Airways South Africa – 84.96%

ACSA airport target 91%


  1. FlySafair – 94.42%
  2. SA Airlink – 93.35%
  3. South African Airways – 92.83%
  4. Kulula – 87.81%
  5. Mango – 87.60%
  6. British Airways Domestic – 86.81%
  7. SA Express – 85.28%


FlySafair is officially South Africa’s most on-time domestic airline for the first half of 2015. The airline does have a bit of an advantage over the other airlines, as they do not fly to all three airports listed above. They will only start flying between Cape Town and Durban, and Johannesburg and Durban from the 25th of October 2015. Because they operate fewer flights than Kulula, Mango and South African Airways, there is less that can go wrong. We will have to wait and see how they match up with their competitors, after their planned network expansion later in the year.

South African Airways’ on-time performance is particularly impressive, considering that they have the most extensive network in South Africa. SAA, Airlink and FlySafair were the only airlines to meet ACSA’s airport target of 87% at OR Tambo International. Airlink and SAA also managed to meet both the 90% target at Cape Town International and 91% target at King Shaka International. FlySafair, Mango and Kulula also managed to meet and exceed the target at Cape Town International . OR Tambo International’s overall domestic on-time performance percentage for the year to date is 87.62%, Cape Town International’s is 91.61%, and King Shaka International’s is 89.19%. Overall 89.47% off South Africa’s domestic flights from South Africa’s three largest airports have left on time in 2015.

It will also be interesting to see what Skywise and Fly Go-Air’s on-time performance in Johannesburg and Cape Town will be once ACSA starts releasing their stats in August. The two airlines operate flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg, but they have not been in business long enough for ACSA to record their on-time performance. South Africa’s domestic airlines have an above average on-time performance percentage. The most recent data from the United States shows that their domestic airlines have an average on-time performance percentage of 76%. Yes they do have considerably more domestic flights than we do, and a larger network, but that won’t stop us from claiming that our airlines are more punctual than theirs. Click here to see the final year report.

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