Airlines’ On-time Performance is Best in Two Years
U.S. airlines reported their best on time performance in two years in April, according to the Department of Transportation’s latest figures.
Just over 86% of flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time, the best since November 2009. And, airlines are getting better at keeping track of your bags. April’s mishandled baggage report was down to 2.63 reports per 1,000 passengers from 3.3 in April 2011 and 3.09 in March 2012. Airlines also reported no tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights or more than four hours on international flights. (Source: DOT press release).
U.S. Air Passenger Traffic Up Slightly
The number of passengers U.S. airlines carry continues to increase, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Transportation.
The first three months of 2012 continued the growth trend of 2011, when system and domestic load factors hit an all-time high. U.S. airlines carried 2.8% more passengers in the first quarter of 2012 than in the first quarter of 2011. That meant that overall, passenger numbers were up 1.4%. The March 2012 passenger total was 3.6% above March 2010. Delta Air Lines carried the most total passengers.
Southwest Airlines carried more domestic passengers. United Airlines, which merged with Continental Airlines, carried the most international passengers. (Source: DOT press release).
U.S. Air Capacity Dips
Airlines might be carrying more passengers, but they’re flying fewer seats as U.S. carriers continue to trim capacity. In March, domestic capacity decreased by .6%t and capacity system wide was down .3%.
This is an ongoing trend; in late June both Delta Air Liens and United Airlines reduced their total seats by about 1 percent, anticipating slackening demand after Labor Day. (Source: DOT press release, news reports).
Delta to Offer In-flight WiFi on Its International Fleet
Delta Air Lines, the airline that has more planes equipped with WiFi than any other domestically, said that it will start offering in in-flight Internet service on its long-haul international fleet in early 2013.
Once it completes installing WiFi on all of its international aircraft in 2015, it will have more than 1,000 planes with WiFi. Lufthansa now offers WiFi on some transatlantic flights; Virgin Atlantic is introducing it later this year. (Source: Delta, Lufthansa press releases, news reports).
Aviation Continues to Work on Bio fuel Development
KLM flew the longest commercial bio fuel flight ever to the Rio+20 sustainable development conference in Rio de Janeiro late last month. It’s part of an ongoing aviation industry effort to develop use of bio fuel.
Lufthansa just wound up a six-month trial in which it used a 50-50 blend of bio fuel and regular fuel on its planes. Air New Zealand has flown bio fuel test flights and is working on developing bio fuel production in New Zealand.
British Airways said it plans to use a fuel derived from waste by 2015, while Virgin Atlantic said it will use fuel derived from waste gases by 2014, cutting its carbon footprint by 50 percent.
European carriers, bio fuel producers and the EU commission last year signed a pact to produce 2 million tons of bio fuel by 2020. In the U.S.A., United Airlines, Boeing, Honeywell’s UOP, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust have formed the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Bio fuels initiative. Its goal: to promote bio fuel development in a 12-state region. (Source: press releases)