Airline performances off their stride in April

June 13, 2013 at 2:26 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- U.S. airline performance indicators dropped in April as expected, the Department of Transportation said Thursday.

Industry analysts had said airline performance would suffer with thousands of delays triggered by the federal government's sequestration budget cuts.

President Barack Obama signed a bill to excuse air traffic controllers from automatic furloughs, but the airline delays were building up in late April before he signed the waiver.

In April, the 16 large airlines that contribute data to the monthly report were on time for 77.3 percent of their flights, down from April 2012, when the on-time performance mark was 86.3 percent. In March 2013, the on-time measure was at 79.8 percent.

In addition, airlines canceled 1.8 percent of their scheduled domestic flights in April, an increase of 1 percent over April 2012 and 1.6 percent over March 2013.

In April, mishandled baggage was measured at 3.08 complaints filed per 1,000 passengers, up from 2.63 in April 2012 and 3.05 in March 2013.

In April, the highest on-time arrival percentages were reported by Hawaiian Airlines -- 93 percent -- and Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines, with scores of 86.8 percent and 85.6 percent, respectively.

The lowest on-time arrival percentage were posted by American Eagle Airlines, on time 66.9 percent of the time, Frontier Airlines with 68.6 percent of flights on time and ExpressJet Airlines, which posted an on-time percentage of 71 percent.

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