Apr 11, 2024 - Business

New Orleans airport is below the national average for on-time departures

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

New Orleans is below the national average for on-time flight departures, according to the latest Transportation Department data.

  • 82.4% of flights out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport departed on time in December 2023, the data shows.

The big picture: 83.3% of domestic U.S. flights departed on time in December 2023.

Context: New Orleans' average on-time departure rate for 2023 was 77.8%, which was higher than in 2021 or 2022.

  • The national average in 2023 was 78.7%.
  • The best year recently for New Orleans was 2020 with 84.6%. The national average that year was 86.3%.

Zoom in: 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 among airports serving more than 1 million passengers annually.

  • 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: A variety of factors, from weather to issues at a particular airline, can affect each airport's on-time performance.

  • Denver International's numbers really 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 pretty solid nationwide performance — especially during a month when winter storms can really mess with the entire air travel system.

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