Over the past year, we built a series of data models to highlight points about the US airline industry. Today we sharing another of these to illustrate how US airline fleets have been operating in terms of on-time performance. The data driving the model is from the US DoT On-Time database. We matched tail numbers across the fleets to generate the report. In the model the size of the ball is driven by number of flights.
It bears repeating – delayed arrivals are expensive. Through September 2019, the average cost per operational minute for the US airline industry was $89. Airlines do not get paid more if a flight pulls up to the gate late. Revenues are fixed, but flight costs run beyond engine shutdown. Every minute a flight gets to gate late costs serious money. Especially when you are operating hundreds of flights per day.
Consistently since 2016, over 17% of US domestic flights arrive 15 minutes or more late. In 2019 it was 18.7% and the average delayed arrival time from these flights was 69 minutes. That translates into an estimated $8.5Bn in lost time from only the airline perspective.
Readers can select a year and an airline to drive the model. We suggest you select an airline first and then go through the years to see how the chart changes. The results should generate lots of questions because the results offer clues to the downstream impacts of industry consolidation. As you will see, previously single-type fleets switching to mixed types causes challenges. Also, the induction of a new type comes with operational challenges. We look forward to your feedback.