Airlines´ capacity-cutting has continued to improve their on-time performance.
U.S. carriers reported better on-times rates for the month of June as well as the first half of 2009 compared with the same time periods for previous years, according to the Department of Transportation´s monthly report.
The 19 reporting airlines arrived on time 76.12% of the time in June, the fourth-best June on record and better than the 73.61% average for the month over the past 14 years, the DOT reported.
Hawaiian Airlines ranked first in June, arriving on time 93.3% of the time, followed by Alaska’s 84.54% and ExpressJet’s 81.99%.
Bringing up the rear was Delta subsidiary Comair, which arrived on time 59.82% of the time. Frontier placed second-to-last with an on-time percentage of 67.97%. American placed 17th with a 69.16% on-time rate.
The carriers posted the best set of on-time arrival rates during the first six months of 2009 since 2003 and the third-best for the January-to-June period in 15 years with comparable numbers (the number of reporting carriers has varied for some of the years).
The only other years that carriers posted better on-time percentages were 2002 and 2003.
Again, Hawaiian posted the best on-time performance for the first half of the year with a rate of 91.36%, followed by Pinnacle with 83.88% and Southwest with 83.49%.
Comair finished in last place with an on-time rate of 66.79%. Atlantic Southeast was 18th at 70.1% and American was 17th with 75.91%.
There were 278 flights in June with tarmac times of three hours or more, up from 35 in May.
The three-hour tarmac times consisted of 172 delayed taxi-outs, 40 canceled flights, 42 flights with multiple gate departures, 23 diverted flights and one delayed taxi-in. There were two flights in June with tarmac time of five hours or more.
The number of three-hour tarmac delays for June was the ninth worst over the past 14 years, according to an analysis of DOT data by the FlyersRights.org advocacy group.