The least punctual airline in the world?

According to this report, in an overview conducted by the Icelandic airport administration, Iceland Express was the least punctual airline serving Keflavik International Airport in 2010, with only 36% of its flights on schedule during June, July and August of last year.

Rather fewer than a dozen airlines serve the airport even at the height of summer, so the fact they were the least punctual is not terribly significant, but the 36% on-time figure is a truly dismal statistic by any measure. The fact that the airline is still in business seems miraculous, and might lead one to suppose that Iceland Express has taken the intervening period to sort things out.

But not a bit of it. The airline’s time-keeping troubles continue, with lacklustre management apparently out of its depth. Stories of delays, lost bags and lack of any communication with passengers have appeared regularly this summer. And last Friday one of their planes (all operated by UK-based but Icelandic owned Astraeus) failed a safety spot-check at Paris which led to to delays of over 24 hours.

The airline claimed that their long-suffering passengers were kept abreast of developments, but none of those interviewed by the French media seemed to have received any information whatsoever from the airline. To cap it all, not enough hotel rooms were booked for the overnight delay which meant complete strangers had to share beds.

There’s form here – Iceland Express has been  mentioned in dispatches by Inside Traveller on more than one occasion, most recently over its falling out with UK tour operator Discover the World.

Is Iceland Express the least punctual airline in the world? Well, that prize may possibly lie in sub-Saharan Africa or the wrong end of Sulawesi. But amongst airlines active in the UK market (promoting cheap fares to the USA as well as Iceland), they may be leaders of the pack. Be warned!

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