• The adjustment in flight altitude is said to boost the country's aviation industry.

The adjustment in flight altitude is said to boost the country's aviation industry. (Photo : Reuters)

According to a July report from Civil Aviation Data Analysis, a Chinese organization that tracks the punctuality of 103 major global airline carriers, China's three major carriers are among the least punctual airlines in the world, ranking 86th or lower, with analysts attributing the problematic performance to rapidly growing air traffic and bad weather.

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The three airlines listed in the report were Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines Co., which placed the highest at 86th with an on-time rating of 70.45 percent flights on schedule. Beijing-based Air China and Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. followed at 93rd with 66.41 percent and 94th with 64.46 percent, respectively.

The top 10 list of the most punctual airlines has no Chinese carriers. The top three Asian airlines in terms of punctuality are Nok Air from Thailand and Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways from Japan.

Among Chinese airlines, the most punctual were TransAsia Airways at 65th, Cathay Pacific Airways at 74th and EVA Air at 78th.

Among mainland carriers, Bejing-based Okay Airways had the highest punctuality rate at 80th.

In July, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) produced findings consistent with the report, claiming that only 68.37 percent of China's flights landed on time last year, with air traffic control and weather among the worst problems.

In 2009, more than 80 percent of flights in the Chinese mainland were punctual, but the percentage has fallen consistently since 2010, hitting its all-time low in 2014, according to the CAAC report. About 36.09 percent of the delayed flights are late 30 minutes or less, while 2.88 percent are delayed more than four hours.

Industry experts blame bad weather and a spike in passengers for the high percentage delay rate last month.

Many air passengers are now choosing to buy flight insurance, which pays if the flight is late. Purchases of insurance in July increased 30 percent from June.

China's first carrier to offer flight insurance was Spring Airlines. Passengers can buy insurance for 20 yuan per flight, and in case of more than three hours of delay, the insurance company will pay the passenger 200 yuan.