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Airlines’ on-time record slips in June

US airlines had a combined on-time arrival rate of 76.1 percent in June, the lowest since December. US airlines had a combined on-time arrival rate of 76.1 percent in June, the lowest since December. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Associated Press / August 5, 2009

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NEW YORK - US airlines in June turned in their worst on-time performance since December, the Department of Transportation said yesterday.

The 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 on-time rate in December was 65.3 percent.

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. Comair, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines Inc., had the worst.

Among legacy carriers, Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc. reported the fewest delays, and American Airlines posted the worst on-time performance.

Legacy carriers are those that had a large presence in a number of regions before the industry was deregulated in 1978.

Nineteen airlines report monthly on-time data and the causes of delays and cancellations for nonstop flights to the Department of Transportation in broad categories - such as “Extreme Weather’’ and “National Aviation System Delay’’ - that were created by the airlines, industry groups, travel agents, and government officials.

A flight is considered on time if it arrives within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time shown in the carriers’ computerized reservations systems. Canceled and diverted flights are counted as late.