Mar 22, 2024 - News

Northwest Arkansas National Airport beats nation in on-time departures

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

Northwest Arkansas National Airport posted an on-time departure rate of 90% in December 2023, according to the latest data from the Transportation Department.

The big picture: The national on-time rate for U.S. domestic flights in that same month was 83%.

That's a big improvement compared to December 2022, when Southwest Airlines' epic meltdown dragged the industrywide average down to about 70%.

Zoom in: Florida's Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (89.5%), Salt Lake City International Airport (89.2%) and Hawai'i's Lihue Airport (88.8%) had the best on-time departure performance for December 2023 among airports serving more than 1 million passengers annually.

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

The bottom line: XNA's 90% rate last December is a pretty solid performance — especially during a month when winter storms can really snarl the entire air-travel system.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct chart.

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