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These were the most on-time US airlines, airports of 2023: report

by Staff

(NEXSTAR) — While 2023 didn’t feature an epic air travel meltdown, some airlines and airports fared better than others when it comes to on-time performance, according to a report from Cirium, the aviation analytics company.

Delta Air Lines led the list for the most on-time airline in North America with its over 1.6 million flights arriving on time 85% of the time. This is the third year in a row that Delta has taken top honors.

“The industry has experienced a whirlwind of developments, including a continuous increase in travel demand after the pandemic, strain on airport infrastructure, labor shortages, and rising fuel costs,” James Hetzel, product marketing director at Cirium, said in the report. “Additionally, the diverse routes and varying weather conditions in North America present additional complexities for airline operations.”

Alaska Airlines was second at 82% of its 404,925 flights arriving on time. To be considered “on-time,” the departure or arrival must happen within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

Cirium says it incorporates flight data from over 600 sources to rank airlines and airports for its On-Time Performance Review, a report it has been publishing for more than 15 years.

On-Time Ranking Airline On-Time Arrival Percentage
1. Delta Air Lines 84.72%
2. Alaska Airlines 82.25%
3. American Airlines 80.61%
4. United Airlines 80.04%
5. Southwest Airlines 76.26%
6. Spirit Airlines 71.16%
7. WestJet 69.29%
8. Frontier Airlines 68.68%
9. JetBlue Airways 68.33%
10. Air Canada 63.17%
(Cirium)

Air Canada, Canada’s largest carrier, had the worst on-time performance among large airlines in North America in 2023.

The country’s flag-carrying airline landed 63% of its 276,451 flights on time last year, placing it last among the continent’s 10 largest airlines. That means roughly 140,000 planes arrived at the gate more than 15 minutes after scheduled arrival.

In the past, Air Canada has pointed to a shortage of air traffic controllers, bad weather and a network running at full tilt amid high demand, which can mean longer recovery times after a disruption.

How did U.S. airports compare?

Industry experts are forecasting a record air travel boom for 2024, and when it comes to punctuality some of the highest ranked airports in the world are in the U.S., according to Cirium

The top airport globally was Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which saw 84.44% of flights depart on time in 2023, according to the report.

Thirteen of the top 20 global airports recognized for their on-time performance are located in the U.S., here’s how they ranked:

On-Time Ranking Airport On-Time Departure Percentage
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) 84.44%
5. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) 83.99%
6. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) 83.09%
7. Seattle-Tacoma
International Airport (SEA)
82.97%
8. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) 82.75%
11. Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) 80.36%
12. San Diego International Airport (SAN) 80.32%
13. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) 80.26%
15. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 79.76%
16. O’Hare International
Airport (ORD)
79.67%
17. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) 79.59%
19. Nashville International
Airport (BNA)
79.30%
20. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
International Airport (ATL)
78.89%
(Cirium)

“It is clear that airlines’ performance is attached to airport results and vice, versa, showing once more the joint efforts to build efficiency with benefits for passengers and the whole aviation ecosystem,” Luis Felipe de Oliveria, director general of the Airports Council International, said in a statement.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects that a historic number of travelers across the globe, some 4.7 billion, will take to the air in 2024. In 2019, before the pandemic upended the industry, there were roughly 4.5 billion air travelers, according to the IATA.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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