US Airways tops in on-time performance, selected by Time as ‘stingiest airline’

Sunday, August 10, 2008, 8:22 by Aviation Correspondent

US Airways, a low-cost airline owned by US Airways Group Incorporated, has been ranked the top carrier for on-time performance among the 10 largest airlines during the first half 2008. For the first 6 months of 2008, 79.4% of US Airways’ flights arrived within 14 minutes of their arrival time, according to the monthly Air Travel Consumer Report of the United States Department of Transportation.

In June 2008, US Airways ranked second, with 76.3% of flights meeting the on-time criteria.

US Airways, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, the United States, operates 3,500 flights a day to over 230 destinations in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. It is the second largest carrier at Albany International Airport, New York, behind Southwest Airlines.

US Airways operates hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix in the United States and also maintains focus city operations at Washington Reagan National, New York LaGuardia, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Boston.

In a statement, Scott Kirby, president of US Airways, said: “Our first-place ranking amongst the largest airlines for on-time performance for the first half of 2008 validates the remarkable turnaround our airline has achieved over the past year. Our customers tell us that getting to their destination on time is very important, and our 35,000 employees are doing their part to make sure that happens.”

US Airways, the statement added, pays $50 to employees in months when its on-time performance makes the top three among the 10 largest airlines in the United States. And, June 2008 marks the seventh successive month for the bonus – with a total of $12 million awarded since December 2007.

According to the report by the US Department of Transportation, performance by airlines in the United States in general showed an improvement in June 2008 compared with that of June 2007. However, timeliness declined compared with May 2008.

US Airways Group has reported a 0.8% fall in mainline passenger traffic for July 2008.

US Airways, the dominant carrier at Philadelphia International Airport, flew 5.91 billion revenue passenger miles in July 2008, down from nearly 5.96 billion miles   in July 2007. The passenger-load factor –or,  percentage of filled seats – for the carrier was 85.1%,  down from 86.3% in the same period a year ago. Capacity rose 0.4%  to nearly 6.94 billion available seat miles.

Meanwhile, the Time magazine has selected US Airways as “the stingiest airline.”

According  to Time, US Airways “broke new ground last week by starting to charge for all beverages: $2 for a soft drink (and even a bottle of water), $1 for coffee or tea. Checked bags cost $15 and $25, flight changes are $150.”

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