The nation's 20 largest airlines' on-time flight rate dipped nearly 10 percentage points in October compared with the year-ago period, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The carriers recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 72.9 percent in October, down from 81.3 percent last year. The airlines also canceled 1.9 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, slightly higher than the year-ago period's 1.8 percent.
Hawaiian Airlines has the best on-time rate at 91.6 percent, followed by Aloha Airlines at 91.4 percent and Frontier Airlines at 85.3 percent. At the other end of the spectrum was Atlantic Southeast Airlines' 55 percent on-time rate, followed by Comair at 64.9 percent, and its parent Delta Air Lines at 65.9 percent.
Comair and SkyWest Airlines dominated the list of most frequently delayed flights, including two Comair flights that were never on time: flight 5463 from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Buffalo, N.Y., and flight 5283 from JFK to Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport.
American Eagle Airlines had the highest rate of canceled flights at 3.9 percent, followed by ExpressJet Airlines at 3.2 percent, and Mesa Airlines at 3 percent.
JetBlue Airways' 0.2 percent cancellation rate was the lowest, followed by Frontier Airlines at 0.4 percent, and Continental Airlines at 0.7 percent.
Shares of Continental Airlines Inc. added 21 cents to $41.78, while American Eagle parent AMR Corp. slid 32 cents to $32.95, ExpressJet Holdings Inc. rose 8 cents to $8.32, and JetBlue Airways Corp. gained 32 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $13.91, all on the New York Stock Exchange.
Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. slid 26 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $7.80, while shares of SkyWest Inc. were unchanged at $25.49, and Mesa Air Group Inc. added 6 cents to $8.16, all on the Nasdaq.
Shares of Hawaiian Holdings Inc. dipped 10 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $4.52 on the American Stock Exchange, while Delta Air Lines Inc. added 5 cents, or 4 percent, to $1.31 in over-the-counter trading.
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November ranks as the second-worst November since 1995 with only 76.5% of flights on time. While December's numbers are not in, early indications are that the industry's performance for all of 2006...
The 20 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 80.0 percent in November.
Delays in the nation's aviation system intensified in October, causing the airline industry's on-time arrival record to fall from September's level, while still remaining ahead of last year.
Weather-related and air-traffic related delays rose. Overall, the on-time rate was 81.3%, up from 81% last year.