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We do not maintain list of worst performing airlines: Flightstats replies to Air India

With Air India taking exception to a survey that put it among the worst performing airlines globally, aviation data company Flightstats on Thursday said it does not rank airlines on the basis of “On Time Performance” and that a media outlet “inverted” its data.

In a communication to Air India, the Portland-based company said a media outlet put the government-run airline in a “negative light” and that by no means it endorsed the portrayal of its performance. The company said it reports flight status and performance data from trusted sources that include airlines, airports, GDS systems, civil aviation authorities and positional data sources. “While we do highlight exceptional performers, we do not and have not highlighted low performance or maintain a list of worst performing airlines,” it said.

Air India had, in a strongly worded letter to Flightstats on January 10, not only contested the survey findings but had also termed it as an attempt to “tarnish its image”.

Flightstats said it stands by its data, collection systems, reporting based on these data sources and its validation methodologies. It said it would be “happy to work with Air India with regards to that data that we have sourced to compare with your own data”.

All data is reported using the industry standard A14 metric, which measures the percentage of on-time actual gate arrivals within 14:59 of scheduled gate arrival, it said. “Our data, which was a measure of 97.7 per cent of your arriving flights, indicated that 61.29 per cent of AI’s flight arrived within the A14 threshold,” the communication said. The media outlet applied its “journalistic license to invert the A14 result to highlight the percentage of delayed flights as 38.17 and indicated that the number was a predictor to future delays”, it said. “This is not how we would portray airline On Time Performance,” Flightstats said.