Maybe Freight Should Complain

Nearly 25% of the freight carried by the top 20 U.S. airlines moves in the bellies of passenger aircraft. Only 6% of that cargo flies on airlines reporting better than 80% on-time performance.

Flightstats’ U.S. Carrier Arrival Performance Report indicated combination carrier Hawaiian Airlines achieved a 95% on-time rate for its total 3,971 U.S. arrivals in November. While that’s good news for a limited number of passengers, the airline carries only 0.2% of the freight handled by U.S. carriers (based on figures for the first seven months of 2005).

At the top of the list of 20 freight carriers are FedEx and UPS with 28.8% and 16.3% of the air freight carried by between January and July 2005. When Atlas and Polar are combined, as they will be once their merger is completed, the two edge out UPS for the second slot with 17.2% of the freight (as measured in freight-tonne-kilometers).

Northwest, American, United and Delta lead the 17 airlines that divide nearly 50% of the remaining freight.

Northwest, which reported 1.8 billion FTKs in the first seven months of 2005, had an on-time performance of 75% in November.

Following close behind with nearly 1.7 billion FTKs, American had an 80% on-time rate in November.

Third in freight volume among the combination carriers, United scored 82% on-time in November. That performance matched US Airways, which followed Delta and Continental in volumes but surpassed their 79% on-time performance.

Southwest Airlines, with 111,221,000 FTKs and the highest number of U.S. arrivals (83,671 in November vs. American with 57,808) recorded the best on-time performance of the major combination carriers – 84%.

Combination Carriers’ On-Time Performance

FTKs Jan-July

November on-time

Northwest

1,805,728

75%

American

1,698,100

80%

United

1,401,806

82%

Delta

1,010,129

79%

Continental

708,034

79%

US Airways

201,495

82%

Southwest

111,221

84%

Hawaiian

68,953

95%

Alaska

54,884

75%

FTK = 1 tonne of freight moved 1 kilometer

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