Airlines' on-time performance best in 18 years
BY D.R. STEWART World Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
3/20/12 at 3:51 AM
U.S. airline flights arrived on time 83.75 percent of the time in January, the highest January on-time arrival percentage in 18 years, said the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In the same month, American Airlines, which employs 7,000 people and operates 16 flights a day at Tulsa International Airport, posted an on-time arrival percentage of 83.63 percent, sixth among the 15 largest U.S. carriers and its highest industry ranking in several years, company executives said.
American Eagle Airlines, American's regional airline affiliate, had an 81.74 percent on-time arrival rate in January, which ranked 10th in the industry.
American spokesman Tim Smith said the Fort Worth-based airline has made a concerted effort to improve operational metrics.
"One variable is always weather," he said. "In January, it was better than average. But it also reflects some hard work. We always say it is easier to stay on schedule when you depart at the appointed hour."
In comparison with American's 83.63 percent on-time arrival percentage in January, American posted an 82.4 percent on-time arrival percentage in December, ranking it 11th in the industry, and an 81.9 percent on-time arrival percentage in November, ranking it 13th.
"We put a lot of focus on this," Smith said. "Our folks have risen to the challenge."
The industry's average on-time percentage of 83.75 percent in January was above the average of 74.33 percent for January in the past 17 years, said DOT's Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The agency said the top three causes of airline delays were related to the national aviation and air traffic control systems, accounting for 5.02 percent of delays; late arriving aircraft, 4.93 percent, and air carrier delays, 4.06 percent.
U.S. airlines' cancellation rate of 1.46 percent in January was the lowest for any January on record, below the average of 3.39 percent for January in the past 17 years, DOT said.
Among the 29 busiest airports in January, Salt Lake City had the highest on-time arrival percentage with 88.51 percent of its flights arriving on time. San Francisco, with an on-time percentage of 72.95 percent, had the lowest on-time arrival percentage.
At Tulsa International in January, 80.5 percent of flights arrived on time while 87.1 percent of departing flights were on time, DOT said.
At Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, 85.2 percent of flights arrived on time, and 88.4 percent of departing flights were on time, the agency said.
In January, U.S. airline passengers filed 139,118 mishandled baggage reports, a 13.9 percent decrease from the 161,608 mishandled baggage reports filed in January 2011. The mishandled baggage report rate was 3.30 reports per thousand passengers compared with 4.29 reports per thousand passengers in the same month last year, DOT said.
Passengers of American Airlines filed 16,433 mishandled baggage reports in January or a rate of 3.13 reports per thousand passengers, down 27.5 percent from its 22,672 mishandled bags or 4.33 reports per thousand passengers in January 2011.
American passengers filed the third highest rate of mishandled bags in January, behind Southwest Airlines, with 29,077 reports, and United Airlines, with 20,306 reports.
American Eagle passengers filed 8,927 mishandled baggage reports in January, an 18.7 percent decrease from the 10,982 reports filed in January 2011.
Airlines few 42.2 million passengers in January, up 12 percent from a year earlier.
U.S. airline on-time arrival percentage in January:
1. Hawaiian Airlines, 93.14 percent.
2. AirTran Airways, 87.84 percent.
3. Southwest Airlines, 87.63 percent.
4. Delta Air Lines, 86.44 percent.
5. US Airways, 85.03 percent.
6. American Airlines, 83.63 percent.
All Airlines: 83.75 percent.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation
Original Print Headline: 83 percent of flights on time in January
D.R. Stewart 918-581-8451