US airlines have been hammered by the loss of traffic and can’t really benefit from attractive fuel prices. Airline operations are being reviewed constantly to find ways to reduce the cash burn. American has decided to cut back from some communities. United has decided to try a series of news markets. And at Southwest, there is talk of breaking its 48-year profit string.
Looking at data through April 2020 here’s a summary of what we see in the various data sources.
The slimmed-down schedules have helped on-time arrivals, with reduced delays. Whereas in 2019 the industry average for arrivals delayed over 15 minutes was 19%, in 2020 through April it was 10%. In 2019 the industry average arrival delay was 13.2 minutes and through April it was down to 7.6 minutes.
Even so, there are still some delay costs. The slimmed-down schedules would be a good opportunity to find ways to improve flight ops performance further because delay costs are significant and offer a chance to make cost savings.