Spain boasts an impressive amount of air carriers compared to the other European countries. But only one of them ranks in the Top 5 in 2019.
Our comparison of 150 airlines showed something particularly interesting: in Spain, the best airlines are the low-cost ones.
Volotea is the 5th Best Airline in the World
True, Volotea isn't the most punctual airline in the world. With 23.79% of its flights late by at least 15 minutes in 2019, the low-cost airline doesn't stand out from the rest of the industry. For reference, the industry average stands at 24.30% of delayed flights in 2018.
That being said, Volotea made up for its average flight performance by proving excellent at dealing with compensation claims for delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flights.
In 2018, it took only 5 days on average for Volotea to provide compensation seekers a reply regarding their complaint and only 38 to pay the due compensation. While it may seem much to those unfamiliar with the process, note that the industry average is 123 days (an increase of 21.8% compared to the previous year).
It's worth noting that Volotea, with its score of 6.8, was extremly close to the podium: the third place is occupied by KLM, which scored 7 out of 10.
Volotea Becomes the Best Spanish Airline
The least that can be said, it's that the "big guys" are far from Volotea's performance.
Iberia, the largest national air carrier, ranks at the 38th position only. While the airline can boast a good flight performance, it is more accurately characterised by a profond disrespect for passenger rights. Not only does the airline take extremely long to process its passenger claims - most often than not, these claims end up in court, because Iberia refuses to deal with them or denies compensation for invalid reasons.
Vueling is just as bad in that regard (and unlike Iberia, cannot rely on a good flight performance). The 2nd largest Spanish airline ranks miserably at the 63rd position, flirting with the bottom of the ranking. Vueling has been repeatedly singled out for their refusal to fix the technical problem that users face when trying to submit a compensation claim online - to this day, Vueling has only turned a deaf ear to these complaints.
Air Europa's performance is close to that of Iberia. With a slightly inferior flight performance and a better claim processing score, Spain's 3rd largest airline also ranks 38th.
The Best Spanish Airlines are Low-Cost
While Iberia Express' claim processing performance is just as bad as that of its parent company, which takes care of it, its flight performance is among the best in the world. 86.18% of their flight arrived on time in 2018; compared to an industry average of only 75.70%, Iberia's punctuality clearly stands out.
For Volotea, however, it's even more than that: not only is it the best Spanish airline, it's also the best low-cost airline in the world, surpassing Ryanair, the unlikely holder of the title of "most punctual airline".