Delta, AirTran Lift On-Time Rates

Both Delta Air Lines and AirTran Airways improved their on-time rates and rankings in July, but Delta affiliate Atlantic Southeast Airlines had the worst rate for the second straight month.

Delta posted a 77 percent on-time rate for the month, or seventh-best out of 20 carriers in the U.S. Department of Transportation's ranking. That was up one notch from eighth in June.

Delta was also seventh for the 12 months ended July 31.

AirTran's rate of on-time flights --- defined as those arriving within 15 minutes of the scheduled time --- was 75.6 percent, or eighth in the industry for July. That was up from 11th in June. AirTran's 12-month ranking was 12th.

ASA, meanwhile, continued a chronically poor showing in the DOT stats, with a July on-time rate of just 57.3 percent. The airline, now owned by Utah-based SkyWest but still flying mainly as the Delta Connection carrier in Atlanta, had the lowest on-time rate in July and June and was next-to-last in May. It ranked 18th for the 12 months ended in July.

ASA also had the worst rate of mishandled luggage, 16.90 reports per 1,000 passengers, for July. It has been worst in that category for most of the months since it was first included in the monthly DOT report more than a year ago.

Delta ranked 13th in lost luggage, while AirTran was 11th.

Hawaiian Airlines led the industry in both on-time performance and the lowest rate of lost luggage.

Other on-time leaders in July were Aloha, Frontier, SkyWest and Northwest.

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