Get 40% Off
🚨 Volatile Markets? Find Hidden Gems for Serious OutperformanceFind Stocks Now

US flight cancellations fall to lowest rate in at least decade

Published 01/03/2024, 11:03 AM
Updated 01/03/2024, 12:11 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Passengers line up to check bags before their flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. June 28, 2022. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. flight cancellations fell to the lowest rate in at least a decade in 2023, the U.S. Transportation Department said Wednesday, after a string of bumpy years for air travel.

There were 16.3 million U.S. flights in 2023 and a cancellation rate of below 1.2%, the lowest since at least 2013, USDOT said, adding that it was even better over the holidays.

The cancellation rate for the period from Dec. 17, 2023 through Jan. 1, 2024 was 0.8%, despite a record number of passengers, the department said.

That was far below last holiday season's 8.2% cancellation rate, which included the Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) meltdown that disrupted 2 million passengers and led to a record-setting $140 million civil penalty last month.

"We've been pushing the airlines hard," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on CNBC Wednesday. "We've pressed them on realistic scheduling."

Buttigieg said last month he wanted to see additional declines in flight delay rates as well. The Biden administration plans to propose rules to mandate compensation for lengthy delays or cancellations that are the fault of carriers.

Airlines for America, representing American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), United Airlines, Southwest and others said U.S. airlines had a December on-time arrival rate of 83.7% and 99.6% completion factor.

"This is a direct result of the focused, dedicated work our carriers have been doing for well over a year -- including hiring aggressively, adjusting schedules and investing in new technologies," the industry group said Wednesday.

3rd party Ad. Not an offer or recommendation by See disclosure here or remove ads .

On Friday, the group urged USDOT and the Federal Aviation Administration to do more to address the impact of private planes and air traffic controller staffing shortages on flight delays and cancellations.

In June, a government watchdog report said key facilities face significant staffing challenges, posing risks to air traffic operations. At many facilities, controllers are working mandatory overtime and six-day weeks to cover the shortage.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.