South African Airways (SAA) has won the On Time Performance Service Award in the "Middle East and Africa major airlines" category, handed out by global flight and airport information services firm FlightStats.
SAA has a 91.17% On Time Performance average, which bagged it the prize in its category against stiff competition from Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Gulf Air Company.
The category looks at airlines which operate at least 30 000 scheduled flights annually in the Middle East and Africa and with a flight status coverage threshold of 80%.
Airlines are recognised and awarded for delivering the highest percentage of flights to their arrival gates within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.
"SAA is absolutely thrilled to win this prominent award as on time performance is a critical factor considered by customers when selecting which airline to fly," SAA's general manager of operations, Zuks Ramasia, said in a statement on Wednesday.
SAA also said it has clamped down on baggage irregularities and theft in the last year thanks to a system-wide, structured approach to baggage handling.
Collaboration between the Airports Company South Africa, airport ground handlers, outstations and SAA's baggage services and group security services departments has ensured the improvement of surveillance and dealing with operational challenges.
"SAA is grateful to its employees and partners for helping it to achieve this outstanding on time performance and baggage handling success," Ramasia said.
"It is only through collaboration and teamwork at all levels that SAA has been able to achieve these important goals.
"But we will not rest on our laurels - rather, we will continue to apply a laser focus on providing our valued customers with reliable and high-quality service in every aspect of the travel experience."