Apr 29, 2024 - News

Richmond's flight delays changing for the better

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

Nearly 82% of flights out of Richmond airport departed on time during the busy holiday season in December 2023, according to the latest Transportation Department data.

Why it matters: Summer vacation season is nearly here, so we've got on-time flights on the brain.

The big picture: More than 83% of domestic U.S. flights departed on time in December 2023.

Zoom in: Richmond's December 2023 on-time rate was up from its 2023 average of 81.6% and 2022's 80%.

Zoom out: Florida's Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (89.5% on time), Salt Lake City International Airport (89.2%) and Hawaii'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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