NEW YORK - US airlines curbed long delays in July and improved their overall on-time rates compared with both a month and year earlier, the Department of Transportation said yesterday.
Only one plane got stuck on the tarmac for more than three hours in July - a Continental flight from Miami to Newark, N.J. It was diverted to Philadelphia due to bad weather and sat there for nearly 3 1/2 hours. It arrived at Newark almost six hours late.
Long delays had strayed into double-digits in May and June after nearly disappearing in April 2010, when the agency put into effect a rule threatening fines for these delays.
The nation’s 16 biggest airlines reported an overall on-time rate of 77.8 percent in July, up from 76.7 percent a year earlier and 76.9 percent in June. Hawaiian and Alaska clinched the top spots. The worst rates were at regional airlines Atlantic Southeast and ExpressJet.