Deirdre Fulton & Becca Rowland
The start of the year has been one of stark contrasts for on-time performance at airports. On the US East Coast we’ve seen the impact of plunging temperatures and heavy snowstorms which have led to cancelled flights and travel disruption. Airports such as Philadelphia and the Washington Airports saw on-time performance fall sharply compared to January 2013.
On the other side of the world, we see the continued improvement in on-time performance at Chinese airports. While there was progress through 2013, the fact that Beijing Capital International Airport managed to get 73.4% of flights away on time in January is remarkable, especially when compared to the equivalent of 53% 12 months earlier. At Guangzhou too, on-time performance is showing healthy improvement. These are signs which should be welcomed by China’s burgeoning number of air travellers.
Midway between the US and China, in Turkey, we seen another remarkable aviation story unfolding as Istanbul’s airports continue to grow and put Istanbul firmly on the map. Istanbul Ataturk Airport handled 12% more flights this January than a year ago and still succeeded in improving the proportion that got away on time, reaching 84% in January. At Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport on-time performance fell slightly to 88%, but this can be excused by the fact that the number of flights handled rose by 56%. How many airports could grow this fast and still keep a firm eye on operational performance?
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