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China airports world's worst for on-time performance

Beijing International: Looks pretty, but performs poorly.

Story highlights

  • Chinese airports perform worst for on-time flights
  • At Beijing Capital International Airport, 18.3% of flights left on time
  • None of surveyed Chinese airports could get half of flights to leave on time

Need to get somewhere on time?

Don't book a connecting flight through China.

According to FlightStats, a U.S.-based air travel information service, mainland China airports are the world's worst when it comes to on-time departures and arrivals.

Worse still, according to the report, which covers airport and airline activity in the month of June, the overall performance of Chinese airports has become worse in the past half year.

At the bottom of the list of major world airports is Beijing Capital International Airport. In June, just 18.3% of flights from the airport left on time.

Around 42% of flights from Beijing suffered delays of 45 minutes or longer.

Second worst on the list is Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. Just 24% of its June flights departed on time, compared with a 38.9% on-time departure rate six months ago.

"None of China's provincial airports surveyed by FlightStats -- including Guangzhou, Kunming, Nanjing, Chengdu, Changsha and Urumqi -- could manage to get half of their flights on time," according to a story in the South China Morning Post.

Osaka Airport (95.88%) and Tokyo's Haneda Airport (95%) led Asian airports for on-time performance.

Top performing large North American airports were in Honolulu (86.29%), Vancouver (86.18%) and Salt Lake City (85.55%).

Alaska Airlines had an on-time performance of 86.8%.

Top performing large European airports were in Amsterdam (83.52%), Munich (83.35%) and Vienna (82.15%).

China's major airlines also fared poorly compared with regional and global counterparts.

"Major international airlines on average delivered 75.85% of their flights to the arrival gate within 15 minutes of schedule in June, down from May's 80.70%," according to the FlightStats report summary.

Map: The best and worst for airport delays

"Six major international carriers, South African, Gulf Air, ANA, Japan Airlines, Finnair, and Tyrolean Airways, delivered over 90% of their flights on time."

Meanwhile, China United Airlines brought in only 27% of its flights on time, while large national carriers Air China and China Southern also reported a considerable number of delayed flights.

The top on-time performing carrier in North America was Hawaiian Airlines (92.2%). Top major carriers were Alaska Airlines (86.8%), Air Canada (81.28%) and Delta Air Lines (76.39%).

Top overall European performers were Binter Canarias (99.41%), Malmo Aviation (95.56%) and KLM Cityhopper (93.6%).

Top overall Asian performers were Air Busan (96.77%) and J-Air (95.64%).

According to the South China Morning Post, the poor performance of Chinese airports and airlines is blamed on "excessive military control of airspace and poor urban planning."

"Nearly 80% of China's airspace has been reserved for military use. In other countries, such as the U.S., the situation is exactly the opposite," according to a Hainan Airlines official quoted by the SCMP.

To get the full FlightStats report click here.