It’s been a good year for the Big Three. Strong profits, new aircraft deliveries, new products, improved infrastructure, new long-haul destinations and improving punctuality... yes, punctuality has improved!
With the arrival of the Northern Hemisphere winter, longer nights, colder weather and the increased possibility of resultant delays, there is a historic perception that delays will increase, especially over the holiday periods. However, top-line analysis would suggest otherwise from data extracted from the OAG flightview products. For American, Delta Air Lines and United, the last two months of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 saw year-on-year improvements at many of the major hub airports across the United States.
Taking just one hub airport example, Chicago O’Hare highlights just how much improvement there has been on punctuality in the last year where two of the three majors operate major hub networks. In both airlines, the red line of 2015 highlights the improving performance of the last quarter of 2015 whilst the yellow line of 2016 reaffirms that this current year has generally been a good one for punctuality.
Inevitably delays will continue to occur but what is clear is that the last twelve months have seen considerable improvement, and that a mix of solid business performance aligned with investment in the industry by all stakeholders is bringing rewards in an area that impacts all passengers. So, next time your flight is delayed, whilst at that precise moment in may feel like the world is against you and your travel plans; as a whole, things are getting better for all of us across the Big Three.