On-time performance improves; delay factors examined

02/17/2009 | Travel Weekly

Although major airlines reported that on-time arrivals improved by 2.6 percentage points in 2008, deep cuts in capacity had led some analysts to expect even more improvement in punctuality, which still lagged the industry's 11-year average. Some analysts say an airline labor shortage is to blame, as cost-cutting efforts put a strain on productivity. But airline consultant Darin Lee says that analysis "overlooks the fact that delays are quite costly for airlines, and their incentive is to minimize delays." Instead, he says, "Weather and congestion in the New York City area can often play a big role in delays."

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