Mar 22, 2024 - News

Delayed departures rare at Indy airport

Share of flights departing on time from IND
Data: Bureau of Transportation Statistics; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

As if America's best airport* needed one more thing to brag about — flights out of Indianapolis International Airport departed on-time more often than the national average last year.

The big picture: More than 83% of domestic U.S. flights departed on time in December 2023, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report from the latest Transportation Department data.

Zoom in: In Indianapolis, 86.5% of flights departed on time last December.

  • The average on-time rate for all of 2023 was 83.3% — in the top 20 for the nation's airports that serve at least 900,000 passengers.

*What's new: Earlier this month, the Indianapolis International Airport was named the best midsized airport in North America for the 12th year in a row by the Airports Council International World.

  • The honor is based on traveler surveys, rating key performance indicators, such as ease of finding your way, check-in, shopping and dining offerings and cleanliness of overall facilities.

Zoom out: Florida's Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (89.5% on time), Salt Lake City International Airport (89.2%) and Hawai'i's Lihue Airport (88.8%) had the best on-time departure performance in December 2023.

  • Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (67.2%), Baltimore/Washington International (69.5%) and Orlando International (76.1%) had the worst on-time performance — not counting Puerto Rico's Luis Muñoz Marín International, at 75.8%.

Between the lines: Various factors, from weather to issues at a particular airline, can affect each airport's on-time performance.

  • Denver International's numbers tell that story — it posted an 81.1% on-time rate this past December, compared to 57.7% in December 2022.
  • Denver is a major Southwest hub, and bad weather there helped spark the airline's infamous 2022 meltdown.

The bottom line: 83% is a pretty solid nationwide performance — especially during a month when winter storms can really disrupt the entire air travel system.


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