Japan is renowned for its time-conscious society, attaching great importance to punctuality, which is embodied in the nation’s entire transport system. Not only do Japanese trains
run with exceptional precision, Japanese airlines have also proven to be a reliable means of transportation.
OAG Aviation Worldwide Limited tracks flight information, travel data and schedule databases of airports and publishes annual reports on punctuality
of airlines and airports. This years’ edition included the category of mega airlines, defined as the top 20 airlines which operate the most flights globally. According to the OAG on-time performance score (OTP), indicating flights that arrive within 15 minutes of their scheduled time, two Japanese
mega airlines topped the list. With an OTP score of 85.27 and 83.81 percent respectively, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) outshone other international carriers, such as Delta Air Lines, SAS or United Airlines.
Established in 1951, JAL is Japan’s flag carrier and the sixth largest airline in the world by passengers carried. Triggered by the global economic crisis of 2008, it suffered the largest bankruptcy involving a non-financial company in Japan’s history. Despite gradual recovery due to corporate restructuring measurements and preferential tax treatment, its biggest competitor ANA surpassed JAL in terms of operating income and passengers carried and cemented its position as Japan’s biggest carrier. Together, JAL and ANA carry approximately 95 million passengers per year.