The well-known acronym for Israel’s El Al Airlines – “every landing always late” – is unfortunately truer than ever, and extends to departures as well, according to the latest figures published by Flightstats, the leading industry publication for information about the aviation business. In its latest rankings of the on-time performance of 45 European and Asian airlines that fly internationally, El Al came in next to last – just ahead of Pakistan International Airlines.
According to the rankings for March, nearly 45 percent of El Al departures were delayed, with the average delay 44 minutes. For PAI, the lateness rate was 46.2 percent – both significantly worse than any other airlines. El Al had a consistently bad performance over the past 12 months as well, with 45 percent of its takeoffs delayed over the past year.
The best performing airlines were KLM, Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airways, Iberia, Air Berlin, Lufthansa and Alitalia.
On Friday, an El Al flight to Newark was delayed by some 12 hours, scheduled to arrive early Friday but coming in right before Shabbos. Another flight to Barcelona was delayed for five hours. The airline did not comment on the reason for the delays, or on the Flightstats report.