By Bart Jansen; USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Legacy carriers became more reliable in February.
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines joined Alaska Airlines for the fewest cancellations and best on-time arrival rates, the Transportation Department announced Thursday.
Delta historically promotes its completion factor, when not hobbled at its Atlanta hub by storms or power outages. But Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines, with smaller networks and less reliance on congested airports, routinely place among the top carriers for reliability.
In February, the 18 reporting airlines canceled 1.7% of their domestic schedules, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The rate improved from 3% in stormy January, but slipped from 1.5% in the same month a year earlier, according to the report.
Delta scored best by cancelling 0.1% of its flights, Hawaiian 0.3% and United 0.4%. The highest cancellation rates were at Envoy Air with 6.1%, Mesa Airlines with 3% and SkyWest Airlines with 2.8%.Envoy is a regional affiliate of American Airlines while Mesa and SkyWest fly feeder flight for several bigger “mainline” carriers.
Delta was also best for punctuality, with 87.9% of flights arriving within 15 minutes of their schedules, followed by Alaska with 85.3% and United with 84.7%.
The industry average of 79.3% was down from both 79.6% in January and 82.6% in the same month a year earlier, according to the consumer report.