Airlines post worst-ever July for delays
Hawaiian and Aloha airlines see their performances slip but they remain on top
WASHINGTON » U.S. airlines had the worst July for flight delays on record, as only 70 percent of flights arrived on time amid bad weather and a surge in traffic.
Hawaii's two largest carriers came out on top again, but they also saw on-time performance slip from a year ago.
The 20 largest carriers reported 72 percent of flights arrived on time through the first seven months of 2007, which also was a record low, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics said yesterday in Washington. Previous lows for the month and year were in 2000.
"Record delays are disappointing," said David Castelveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association. "We're seeing a growing volume of traffic in the airspace system and an air-traffic control system that is incapable of handling that growth." He added, "Weather does play a role."
Hawaiian Airlines saw 94.72 percent of its flights arrive on time in July, the agency reported, while Aloha Airlines had a 91.46 percent rating. In July 2006, the carriers' on-time performance rates were 95.8 percent and 92 percent, respectively.
Mesa Air Group had a 75.3 percent rating systemwide, ranking it fifth among U.S. carriers. The agency did not break out figures for Mesa's interisland startup go!, which began service here in June 2006.
The airline trade group, carriers and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the world's busiest airspace, are asking Congress to change the way air-traffic control is funded to speed a system overhaul.
SkyWest Inc.'s Atlantic Southeast unit, which had the lowest on-time performance in 2006, also had the worst percentage in July, with 54 percent of flights arriving on time.