America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA)
improved its on-time performance by 22 percent in March, one of the busiest
travel months of the year, according to the Department of Transportation Air
Travel Consumer Report released today. America West`s system-wide on-time
performance was 84.8 percent in March 2002, ranking the carrier second among
all major airlines, and well above the industry average of 78.6 percent.
America West also earned the number one ranking in on-time performance for the
entire first quarter.
“America West has maintained tremendous operational progress,” said Jeff
McClelland, executive vice president, operations. “We commend our employees
who made it happen and who continue to deliver safe, reliable service day
after day for our customers.”
Additionally, America West`s percentage of cancelled flights dropped to
0.9 percent from 2.8 percent in March 2001, a 68 percent improvement and
better than the industry average of 1.3 percent. The airline also reported
3.55 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers, a 31 percent improvement over March
2001, and well ahead of the industry average of 4.52. As a result of these
improvements, customer complaints to the DOT declined by more than 50 percent
from 4.21 per 100,000 passengers in March 2001 to 2.06 in March 2002.
At Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, where America West is the
leading carrier and operates nearly 75 percent of all of its flights, the
airline`s on-time arrival percentage was 87.1 percent, up from 76.3 percent in
March 2001, ranking it first among all carriers serving Sky Harbor for the
fifth month in a row.
For the full first quarter, America West earned the best on-time
performance among major airlines. During this period, 86.4 percent of America
West flights arrived on-time, compared with 68.7 percent in the same quarter
of 2001. Completion factor increased to 99.3 percent from 96.9 percent.
Additionally, America West posted a 34 percent improvement in mishandled