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What is On-Time Performance?

On-time performance (OTP) of airlines in South Africa is trending up, and passengers are reaping the rewards of more reliable and prompt air travel. Delays at airports also affect an airline’s operational efficiency and bottom line. So better OTP performance is another way to keep costs down and these savings can ultimately be passed on to the consumer.

OTP is a globally measured standard that reflects an airline’s adherence to its own published schedules. This is traditionally measured by the airports themselves, rather than airlines, to counter any potential bias and misreporting. OTP is measured as within 15 minutes of scheduled departure times. The 15-min window is to allow for air traffic congestion which is beyond the airline’s control and can be made up in flying time.

In South Africa, the recording of these time scores is managed by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), in line with the International Airlines Transport Association (IATA) standard benchmarks, and across the country’s three major airports – OR Tambo, Cape Town International and King Shaka in Durban. ACSA calls OTP “the primary internationally accepted standard” for measuring airport operational efficiency. The information is publicly available on the ACSA website.