Feb 15, 2023 - News

Austin airport's on-time departures dip

Data: BTS; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport saw a dip in the number of on-time departures in November from the previous month, according to the latest Bureau of Transportation Statistics data.

By the numbers: 76.5% of domestic flights from Austin's airport departed on time in November 2022, per the data, down from 82% in October.

  • That's compared to the national rate of 81%.

Why it matters: 2022 was a record-breaking year for ABIA, and on-time departures give a window into how the airport is managing that growth.

  • Passenger traffic surpassed 1.8 million in November, up 16% compared to November 2021.

State of play: At the national level, airlines performed admirably throughout last fall, with on-time departure rates at or above 80% between September and November.

Yes, but: This dataset doesn't include last December's air travel meltdown, particularly at Southwest Airlines, which led to thousands of cancellations and delays nationwide, including at least 170 of Southwest's flights at ABIA.

  • Expect those delays to show up in the next data release, where they'll almost assuredly drag down the systemwide numbers.
  • "Let me be clear: we messed up," Southwest Airlines COO Andrew Watterson said during Congressional testimony last week. "In hindsight, we did not have enough winter operational resilience."

The bottom line: Generally speaking, on-time performance tends to dip in the summer (thanks to thunderstorms and the vacation rush) and winter (due to blizzards and holiday crowds), and improve in the spring and fall.

What we're watching: How the Southwest debacle and last month's ice storm will impact December and January figures.

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