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Airlines' ontime performance improves this summer

On-time performance improved among the major airlines this summer, with nearly three out of four flights arriving on time.

But Fort Worth-based American Airlines posted the worst record of the large carriers, with 65 percent of flights arriving on time in June, July and August, according to, an online travel firm that tracks flight performance.

American spokesman Tim Wagner said the problems stemmed from bad weather over the airline’s hubs at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

“Any time you have weather affecting your largest hubs, it’s going to have an impact across the system,” he said.

American also has a large presence in the New York market, which has suffered substantial delays because of aircraft congestion, Wagner said.

Southwest Airlines, headquartered in Dallas, posted the second-best record of the summer, with 82 percent of flights arriving on time. The best performance among the large airlines was discount carrier Frontier Airlines, which reported 85 percent of flights on time.

Nationwide, about 74 percent of flights arrived on time, up from 70 percent in 2007. About 10 percent of flights suffered delays of more than 44 minutes, according to FlightStats, and about 2 percent were cancelled.

Here’s how the major carriers performed:

  • Frontier, 85 percent
  • Southwest, 82 percent
  • Alaska, 79 percent
  • Northwest, 78 percent
  • U.S. Airways, 78 percent
  • Spirit, 77 percent
  • Virgin America, 75 percent
  • AirTran, 75 percent
  • Continental, 71 percent
  • Delta, 71 percent
  • United, 67 percent
  • JetBlue, 65 percent
  • American, 65 percent
  • Source: