Feb 16, 2023 - News

Columbus air travel slowly improving

Share of flights departing on time from <b style='text-decoration: underline; text-underline-position: under; color: #15a0ff;'>CMH</b> and  <b style='text-decoration: underline; text-underline-position: under; color: #858585;'>all U.S. airports</b>
Data: BTS; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Nearly 83% of domestic flights from John Glenn International Airport departed on time last November, slightly better than the national rate.

The big picture: Nationwide, airlines performed admirably throughout the fall of 2022, with on-time departure rates at or above 80% between September and November, per the latest Bureau of Transportation Statistics data.

Zoom in: Across our Axios Local cities, the Washington, D.C., area's Dulles International Airport had the best on-time performance in November, at 88%.

  • Denver — where brutal storms often snarl wintertime operations — had the lowest, at 76%.

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

Be smart: Because airlines' systems and routes are so interconnected, problems at one airport or region tend to cascade across the country.

  • On-time performance also tends to dip in the busy summer and winter seasons.

What we're watching: How airport performance might be impacted by increasing demand.

  • The number of air travelers through Columbus continues to climb since 2020's pandemic disruptions, with 2022's 7.75 million passengers representing a 27% increase over 2021.
  • But that's still just 87% of 2019's record number of total travelers.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to remove a reference to the number of cities with Axios Local newsrooms.

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