Feb 15, 2023 - News

XNA's on-time departures beat national average

Data: BTS; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Domestic flights leaving from Northwest Arkansas National Airport departed on time 82% of the time in November 2022, per the latest Bureau of Transportation Statistics data.

  • The national rate for the same month was 81%.

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

Zoom in: Across the cities with Axios Local newsrooms, the Washington, D.C. area's Dulles International Airport had the best on-time performance in November 2022, at 88%.

Yes, but: This data set doesn't include last December's Southwest Airlines meltdown, which led to thousands of cancellations and delays.

  • While Southwest doesn't fly into XNA, expect those delays to show up in the next data release, where they'll almost assuredly drag down the systemwide numbers.

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

  • As NWA travelers know, foul weather in Chicago can make getting home or catching a connecting flight challenging.

What they're saying: "In 2022, we saw our second-largest volume of passengers in XNA history, and we are hopeful that our numbers continue to grow this year," spokesperson Alex English told Axios via email.

  • "XNA will also see more nonstop flights offered in 2023, and we strive to keep our on-time departures trending above average during this growth."

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

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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