Who says people have to sacrifice quality when they fly with a budget airline? If there is anyone out there that thinks that, Ryanair is doing all it can to change their mind. In fact, this carrier has recently been dubbed Europe’s most punctual airline based on statistics of on-time flights.
So who says that Ryanair is the most punctual in Europe? Apparently the carrier does. Despite all of the press about this statement, it has been revealed that the so-called statistics are based on figures that Ryanair has pulled for itself. If people go by the figures that Ryanair uses, its planes were on time at least 90 percent of the time last year. Additionally, but it has been able to achieve this rate for the past few years running. The problem is people only have the numbers that Ryanair handed out as proof.
So should people believe them or not? Well, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority does collect this kind of data from all arriving flights and departures. However, these stats are only taken from 10 airports in the UK. Ryanair did not say that it is the most punctual in the UK but in all of Europe.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority’s definition of “on time,” a plane is on time when it is 15 minutes ahead or after its scheduled arrival or departure time. There has been no word yet if Ryanair’s stats used the same standard.
Of course, there are already some people who are questioning Ryanair’s statistics. In the UK, BMI Regional is said to be the most punctual. Not only that, 11 different airlines actually beat Ryanair’s on-time rating of 83 percent.
That being said, not everyone is so sure that Ryanair is wrong. Jim Paton, a senior lecturer at the Department of Air Transport at Cranfield University, said that Ryanair’s overall punctuality percent could actually be higher than 83 percent when people take into account the fact that it included flights from all over Europe. A large proportion of Ryanair’s network operates outside the UK. Additionally, a number of its flights operate from smaller airports. This means, it does not have to deal with as much air traffic congestion as other airlines. This makes it a lot easier for airlines to avoid delays that would otherwise count against them.
Paton added that Ryanair serves airports that have facilities that are pretty close to all the runways. This means the planes have to spend a lot less time taxiing to the runway. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can actually shave minutes off each departure. Sometimes those few minutes can make the difference between a plane being counted as on time or late.
Either way, punctuality reports distributed by third parties are usually considered unreliable. This is because most of the data is founded on estimates, or maybe even incomplete samples. However, an airline blowing its own horn about how great its punctuality is isn’t something that is seen every day. So people aren’t sure just how truthful these reports are.