Anyone stuck reading this while waiting for a delayed flight should take note: next time fly via Bristol Airport.

The small airport serving the southwest England port city has emerged as the world’s most punctual aviation hub in 2014, outperforming some of the biggest destinations on the planet.

With connections to Europe and north Africa, Bristol managed to get 94.4% of its flights on or off the ground within 15 minutes of schedule, according to stats from UK-based aviation data monitors OAG.

punctual airline

It’s a figure that might discomfit officials at the main airports serving London — including Europe’s busiest at Heathrow (75.5%) — none of which made the top rankings, with the exception of London Luton.

That puts it top of the league not only for small airports, but also larger facilities.

John Grant, OAG executive vice president, says the findings of his company’s first annual “Punctuality League” were positive, although many leading operators would probably be looking to up their game in 2015.

“With many airports and airlines achieving in excess of 90% on-time performance within 15 minutes of schedule there is a lot to celebrate,” he said.

European destinations dominated the timekeeping list when it comes to small airports, with Bristol followed closely by Brussels South Charleroi Airport at 93.1% and Berlin Schoenefeld at 92.3%.

Japan’s Osaka International Airport claimed the top spot for medium sized airports with 93.2%, followed by Moscow Sheremetyevo (89.8%) and Copenhagen Airport (89.8%).

The most punctual large air hub was named as Munich Airport (89%) — a fact that’ll do little to dispel stereotypes of German efficiency, but one that also highlights the five-year delay to Berlin’s still unopened Brandenburg Airport.

Munich was followed by Tokyo Haneda at 87.9% and Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport at 86.2%.

The world’s busiest air destination, Atlanta, was ranked 12th on the large airports list with a score of 82.4%. Dubai, at 14th with 82.3%, was the only Middle Eastern airport to make any of the top twenties.

In a week when it emerged that passengers spent 28 hours stuck on a delayed flight from Abu Dhabi to San Francisco, OAG’s rankings for the world’s most punctual airlines makes interesting reading.

Smaller operations again took the lead, with Latvia’s airBaltic outperforming all others at 94.9%. Second and third were Hawaiian Airlines at 92.3% and Austrian Airlines at 90%.

The rest of the top 10 includes: Iberia (89.7%), KLM (89.4%), Saudi Arabian Airlines (89.4%), SAS (89.1%), Japan Airlines (88.8%), Finnair (88.6) and Alaska Airlines (88.5%).

Norwegian Air Shuttle was named the most punctual low-cost carrier, with almost nine out of 10 flights sticking to schedule. It was followed by Thai AirAsia and EasyJet.