The Malta Independent 26 May 2019, Sunday

Air Malta and MIA score very poorly in international rankings

Kevin Schembri Orland Tuesday, 14 May 2019, 11:47 Last update: about 11 days ago

Both Air Malta and Malta International Airport have scored poorly in Airhelp’s 2019 rankings, seemingly mainly due to issues in the on-time performance of flights.

AirHelp is an air passenger rights specialist. “Our mission is to help travelers get the compensation they deserve following a disrupted flight. We operate in over 30 countries and have helped more than 10 million travelers in the past 6 years,” its website reads.

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It recently released two rankings, the first is the Global Airline Rankings, and the second is the Global Airport Rankings. Its 2019 global airline rankings scores are based on three components, each worth 33% of the overall score.

Firstly, it focuses on on-time performance. “We gather arrival and departure statistics for every plane and calculate how many of an airline's flights are on schedule.” The rankings count any flight that departed within 15 minutes of its published departure time, and arrived within 15 minutes of its published arrival time as an on-time flight.

It also focus on service quality. “We surveyed thousands of air passengers around the world and asked them to rate the food, comfort and crew of their most used airlines.”

Lastly, it also focuses on claim processing. “This relates to how efficiently airlines handle compensation claims, including how long it takes them to pay out,” the site reads.

Airhelp said that it choses the airlines based on the best known and most flown airlines – “but we exclude airlines that we are unable to get data for.”

Out of the 72 airlines, Air Malta placed 51st. Air Malta seems to have scored badly in the on-time performance section, scoring a 5,2 out of 10. The airline scored nearly an 8 in service quality and nearly a 7 in claim processing.

The top three airlines were Qatar Airways, American Airlines and Aeromexico. The worst placed airlines were easyJet and Thomas Cook Airlines, both of whom mainly seem to be due to very poor claim processing scores.

When it comes to airports, Malta’s airport did not place well.

Airhelp based its Global Airport Rankings on three points yet again. The first calculated the on-time performance statistics for airports as to how likely it is that a flight is on time - counting any flight that departed within 15 minutes of its published departure time, and arrived within 15 minutes of its published arrival time as an on-time flight.

The second point was on service quality, and involved asking people to tell them about the airport’s customer service, queues and cleanliness - “We ran hundreds of surveys where we asked over 40 thousand people in more than 40 countries for their opinions.”

The third point also saw “extensive surveys” where “thousands of people” were asked to rate airports’ eating and shopping options.

On-time performance contributes 60% of the airport's final score.  Service quality contributes 20% of the airport's final score. The section about eating and shopping contributes 20% of the airport's final score.

Out of 132 airports, Malta International Airport placed extremely poorly, in 128th place, just under Manchester Airport. While scoring well in the last two sections, MIA suffered in the on-time performance category, where it scored a 5 out of ten. In service quality the airport scored a 7,7 and in the section for eating and shopping options a 7,5.

The top three airports in the global ranking were Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, Tokyo International Airport in Japan, and Athens International Airport in Greece. The worst ranked airport was Lisbon Portela Airport, in Portugal.

The rankings have been picked up by a number of international news outlets, with Euractiv for example, penning an article which read that 8 of the 10 world’s worst airports are in the EU, mentioning Malta.

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