News Article - August 05, 2009

From Staff and Wire Reports

  Philadelphia International Airport's performance in June fell sharply compared with a year ago, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported yesterday. The monthly look at 31 major U.S. airports showed that 67.02 percent of flights arrived on time in Philadelphia in June compared with 71.3 percent in June last year. That dropped the airport to 27th place from 18th place a year ago. Departure performance here also declined as 73.32 percent of flights left on time compared with 75.26 percent in June last year. Among the 31 airports, Philadelphia ranked 24th in June, down from 12th a year ago, the report said. On time means a flight was within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

   The best airport nationally was Houston, with nearly 89 percent of on-time arrivals in June and 88 percent of departures on time. In evaluating the record of major airlines, the department said they turned in their worst on-time performance since December. At US Airways, which carries about 60 percent of the traffic at Philadelphia International, its systemwide on-time arrivals fell to 78.0 percent, the lowest rate since February and down from 79.2 percent in May. Overall, the 19 airlines had a combined on-time arrival rate of 76.1 percent compared with 80.5 percent in May. But the carriers had fewer delayed flights this June than in the same month a year ago.

   The most frequent reasons for flight delays included airport congestion, equipment problems, and weather. June was a bad month for severe weather across the nation. The National Weather Service recorded more than 6,400 incidents involving hail and high winds, almost twice the number reported in May. Hawaiian Airlines had the best on-time performance in June, while Comair - a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines Inc. - had the worst. Among the nation's largest carriers, Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc. reported the fewest delays, and American Airlines posted the worst on-time performance. Delays had eased in recent months as carriers reduced flights and flew smaller planes because of fewer passengers. Reports of mishandled baggage fell 20 percent in June from a year ago, the department said, but there were more complaints in June than in May. AirTran had the fewest complaints, while American Eagle Airlines - a regional affiliate of American Airlines - had the most.

Source - Philadelphia Inquirer