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March 2, 2024
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With the December DoT On-Time data available we have been digging into the 2019 data.  Something popped that warrants sharing.  Slicing Delta out of the data for single-aisles we noticed something that stands out.  What is happening with their A220s?

The Y-axis is the arrival block hour and across the top is aircraft type.  The data is the average arrival delay in minutes. The greener a column, the better.

Generally, Delta is significantly more in the “green” than its competitors. Delta’s A220 runs late in double digits all day.

For readers who wonder how much data supports the above table, here are the number of flights (2019) behind the table.

Here is an example of how poor a schedule performance can get.  This one is for Frontier Airlines. As a matter of interest, we estimate each operational minute for Frontier costs $68. Being a ULCC this means margins are very tight and operational fumbles that cause late arrivals cost dearly.

We know that as the day progresses, all airlines see schedules pushed and each night they get to do a reset.  But as the colors suggest, the A220 is doing a lot worse for Delta than the rest of the single-aisle fleet.  Delta has 26 of these in service, and though a fraction of the fleet, this performance is eye-catching.  By the end of the day, the A220s are running twice as late as the next aircraft type at Delta.

Indeed, the Delta Airbus fleet generally runs later than its Boeing fleet.  Interestingly, the Delta MD-88 fleet has a relatively green column. We reached out to Delta to ask about this and the company called us to say they declined to respond.

Meanwhile, if we compare the OEMs, we can see some good news for Boeing. A company in dire need of any good news.  Note the relatively excellent performance of the 737-800 and -900.  It is true that certain aircraft fly longer segments that favor hitting schedule times.  For example, doing a lot more turns means more chances of hitting interruptions.  As we can see, the US fleet starts to hit these interruptions every afternoon. Looking at the single-aisle fleet, the A220 sticks out like a sore thumb.

Airbus Canada offered this:

  • We have been working  closely with our airline customers to raise the A220 reliability results
  • As a result, all operators have seen increased reliability; with over 70 % of the fleet now operating above 99 % today.
  • We will continue working closely with the fleet, and we expect to bring the remainder of the fleet to 99 %  or above going forward.
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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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