Lufthansa `Most Punctual Airline in Europe`

The new “Allegro” system identifies the causes of delays on the ground
In the first five months of this year Lufthansa achieved a significantly higher punctuality rate than any of its main European competitors, making the airline the most punctual hub carrier in Europe. 
Announcing this positive result in Frankfurt today, Dr. Christoph Klingenberg, Executive Vice President and General Representative Group Infrastructure of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said, “Since 1999 we have seen an excellent improvement in our departure punctuality rate. It has gone up from less than 70 per cent in 1999 to over 85 per cent this year. Lufthansa has thus clearly moved up to the top of the league in Europe,” he explained. At Frankfurt, its main hub, Lufthansa achieved a punctuality rate of 85 per cent, much higher than its major European rivals in London, Amsterdam or Paris. According to international standards, a flight is classed as punctual if it takes off within 15 minutes of its scheduled departure time. 

Delays are influenced by two main factors: traffic management by air traffic controllers and ground handling processes, which for the most part lie within the responsibility of the airlines and the airports. Lufthansa`s “Operational Excellence” programme examines the airline`s own processes and constantly refines them. In Klingenberg`s view, the improvement in punctuality rates is due largely to optimised ground operations. “Lufthansa is the first airline ever to record the exact timing of all its ground handling processes and make them more transparent. Thanks to a new system known as “Allegro”, which we introduced in April, we can pinpoint the potential causes of delays on the ground. This opens up excellent opportunities to work on improvements,” Klingenberg explained.

“Allegro” stands for “ascending to a higher level of excellence in ground operations”. The programme registers every single process on the ground, down to the last second, from the moment the first passenger disembarks on arrival, to refuelling, cleaning and loading in-flight catering and baggage right through to the moment the last passenger boards the plane before departure.

If delays occur - for example, when all the passengers have left the aircraft but the cleaning of the aircraft does not begin immediately - those responsible are notified at once so that they can take the necessary action without delay. The new time-recording system ensures that punctuality will also be rewarded financially in future as “Allegro” will serve as a basis for the performance-related payment of suppliers. This system is unique worldwide and will give Lufthansa a lasting competitive edge. A further contribution to improved punctuality was made by German air traffic control, which has reduced ATC-related delays in German airspace over the past twelve months.