Feb 15, 2023 - News

SLC airport's on-time departures beat national average

Data: BTS; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Domestic flights leaving from Salt Lake City International Airport departed on time 86% of the time in November 2022, per the latest Bureau of Transportation Statistics data.

  • That's higher than the national rate of 81%.

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

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

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

  • Expect those delays to show up in the next data release, where they'll almost assuredly drag down systemwide numbers.
  • "Let me be clear: We messed up," Southwest Airlines COO Andrew Watterson said during congressional testimony last week. "In hindsight, we did not have enough winter operational resilience."

Be smart: Because airlines' systems and routes are so entwined, problems at one airport or in one region can cascade.

  • Foul weather in, say, Chicago can mean delays in Houston because planes get stuck and can't make their next planned leg.

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), and improve 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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