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Airline and Airport On-time Performance - July 2009 Report
August 3, 2009
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In this issue .....
US Carriers - July 2009 Numbers
Performance Comparison at the World's 50 busiest airports
North American Airport Performance
European Airline Performance Report
About These Reports
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Special Report: ORD's New Runway a Panacea? Maybe Not


Last November, Chicago O'Hare's (ORD) new runway was put into operation with high hopes for relieving congestion and improving on-time performance. Our data shows some mixed results during the first seven months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008.

ORD has demonstrated a marked improvement in on-time arrival percentage this year over last as the graph below shows:





However, ORD appears to have been unable to sustain departure performance improvements. On-time departures were up significantly in the first four months of 2009 but lapsed back into performance levels almost identical to 2008's starting in May '09.





It is difficult to say whether the on-time arrivals improvement is attributable to the new runway alone. Traffic in and out of ORD was also down due to airline schedule cutbacks. FlightStats tracked approximately 12.5% fewer flights in and out of ORD in the first seven months of '09 compared to the same period in 2008.
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FlightStats is an airline, airport, and travel information service provided by Conducive Technology Corp. On our Web site at http://www.flightstats.com/, visitors can get flight status, track flights, view on-time performance ratings by flight or by airline, check for current airport delay and weather information, and much more.

FlightStats provides global flight status information and is the definitive source for historical airline performance data. Conducive Technology is also a leading supplier of air travel information services to travel agencies, logistics professionals, airlines, airports and industry analysts.
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US Carriers - July 2009 Numbers
US airlines' 2009 on-time performance exceeded 2008's numbers for the seventh month in a row with an average for the top 36 carriers coming in at 77.64%, up from 75.47% in June.



Once again, the top ten US airlines for on-time performance in July were small and mid-sized carriers:

  • Hawaiian Airlines - 93.45%
  • Freedom Airlines - 91.36%
  • Horizon Air - 88.16%
  • Mesaba Aviation - 87.49%
  • Alaska Airlines - 86.44%
  • Chautauqua Airlines - 85.86%
  • Shuttle America - 85.02%
  • PSA Airlines - 83.40%
  • Allegiant Air - 83.26%
  • GoJet - 83.19%

Southwest and US Airways both exceeded the 80% on-time arrival percentage mark to lead the majors. United and Continental were slightly above the average of 77.64% for the 36 US airlines we analyzed for this report.

  • Southwest Airlines (14th overall) - 81.02%
  • US Airways (15th overall) - 80.31%
  • United Airlines (16th overall) - 79.61%
  • Continental Airlines (21st overall) - 78.09%
  • Northwest Airlines (22nd overall) - 76.74%
  • Delta Air Lines (26th overall) - 74.67%
  • American Airlines (32nd overall) - 69.98%

Combining the numbers for Delta and Northwest yields an on-time performance percentage of 75.55% - slightly below the average for all carriers for the month.

American joined Air Wisconsin, Atlantic Southeast, Great Lakes Aviation, and Comair among the five airlines with on-time performance below 70% in July.

Here are links to this month's detailed US airline reports:
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Top 50 World Airports -
July 2009 Arrival Performance
Seoul's ICN airport topped the list of the world's busiest airports with over 95.39% of its flights arriving on time. Three US airports - Minneapolis, Phoenix and Seattle made the top ten.

  1. Seoul, KR (ICN) - 85.39%
  2. Bangkok, TH (BKK) - 85.04%
  3. Amsterdam, NL (AMS) - 84.95%
  4. Singapore, SG (SIN) - 84.82%
  5. Minneapolis, MN (MSP) ) - 83.82%
  6. Paris, FR (CDG) - 83.56%
  7. Phoenix, AZ (PHX) - 83.08%
  8. Tokyo, JP (NRT) - 82.92%
  9. Seattle, WA (SEA) - 82.69%
  10. Tokyo, JP (HND) - 82.68%

US, UK and Chinese airports comprise the majority of the bottom ten slots. But Mexico City (MEX) turned in the worst performance at 56.99% against an average for the top 50 of 75.87%:

  • Miami, FL (MIA) - 66.88%
  • Boston, MA (BOS) - 66.22%
  • Newark, NJ (EWR) - 66.04%
  • New York, NY (JFK) - 65.83%
  • Guangzhou, CN (CAN) - 63.95%
  • Beijing, CN (PEK) - 61.97%
  • London, EN, GB (LGW) - 61.31%
  • London, EN, GB (STN) - 58.98%
  • Istanbul, TR (IST) - 58.15%
  • Mexico City, MX (MEX) - 56.99%


Download the reports for the ACI/IATA top 50 World Airports here:
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North American Airports - July 2009 Arrival Performance Report
Cincinnati's CVG airport owned the top position on the on-time arrival performance list for the top 40 North American airports:

  1. Hebron, KY (CVG) - 85.89%
  2. Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) - 84.98%
  3. Cleveland, OH (CLE) - 84.37%
  4. Minneapolis, MN (MSP) - 83.82%
  5. Oakland, CA (OAK) - 83.74%
  6. Portland, OR (PDX) - 83.47%
  7. Phoenix, AZ (PHX) - 83.08%
  8. Vancouver, BC, CA (YVR) - 82.75%
  9. Seattle, WA (SEA) - 82.69%
  10. Houston, TX (IAH) - 82.21%

The average for the top 40 North American airports was a 77.07% on-time arrival performance for the month.

Thunderstorms and winds plagued the US East Coast in July pushing Miami and three New England airports to the bottom of the on-time performance list.

36. Miami, FL (MIA) - 66.88%
37. Boston, MA (BOS) - 66.22%
38. Newark (EWR) - 66.04%
39. New York, NY (JFK) - 65.83%
40. Mexico City, MX (MEX) - 56.99%


Download the reports on North American airport arrival performance here:
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European Carriers - July 2009 Arrival Numbers
Once again in July Binter Canarias (the Hawaiian Airlines of Europe) topped the list of European carriers with 97.48% of its flights arriving within 15 minutes of published schedules against an average for the group of 77.84%. Other top performers included:

  • VLM Airlines - 94.07%
  • SAS Norway - 93.72%
  • KLM Cityhopper - 93.58%
  • Wideroe's - 93.49%
  • Cimber Air A.S. - 93.24%
  • SAS - 90.19%
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle - 89.74%
  • KLM - 89.50%


The bottom five airlines for on-time arrivals included Easyjet, Turkish Airlines, Air One, Meridiana , and Olympic Airlines.


Download the report on European carrier arrival performance here:
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About These Reports
These on-time performance reports for worldwide carriers and airports are generated from FlightStats Analytics. We track the performance of over 150,000 flights per day, archive the data for analysis and publication, and provide real time flight status to millions of travelers world wide each day.

In other words, no we don't have someone at the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) leaking information to us. We gather it ourselves in real time and archive the data for analysis and reporting.

The BTS numbers are usually published a month later than ours, are based upon different data gathering techniques, and built from slightly different data sets.

  • BTS reports only on US airlines and airports. FlightStats gathers data world-wide
  • BTS airline performance reports are based upon data reported by 19 US airlines, 18 of which constitute 1% or more of total domestic scheduled-service passenger revenues. FlightStats reports cover 45 US airlines and are based upon data gather in real time from a variety of sources including the US FAA, airlines reservation systems, direct feeds from airlines and airports.
  • BTS US airport performance reports are based upon information provided by the 32 U.S. airports that account for at least 1 percent of the nation's total domestic scheduled-service passenger enplanements. FlightStats equivalent reports are based upon archived real-time data covering the top 40 (i.e. busiest) North American airports.
  • Both BTS and FlightStats reports include information on the percentage of flights that arrived on time, were cancelled, were diverted. FlightStats breaks down the delays into 3 categories - late (15-29 minutes late at the gate), very late (30-44 minutes), and excessive (> 44 minutes). BTS simply reports that a flight is late (15 minutes or more).
  • FlightStats has more current data based upon real-time reporting. BTS data is published approximately 5 weeks after the close of a month as it relies on the airlines to file historical reports.
  • BTS also reports on baggage issues, passenger numbers, customer complaints and the causes of flight delays. FlightStats does not.

The articles in this issue include links to reports you can download with detailed performance data on the world's 50 busiest airports, US major airline performance, North American airport performance and European carrier performance.

We also track departure performance and can provide many different views into the data. Let us know if you need something in particular.

You may republish any and all data included in this report. We ask only that you attribute the data to FlightStats.com and include a link to http://www.flightstats.com if you publish the data in any form online.

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If you want to dig a bit deeper, please contact David White or Brad Exline
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