Airlines in North America are running on time, but not in Canada, it appears.
According to new aviation data from Cirium, Canada’s two biggest airlines – Air Canada and WestJet – rank last in on-time performance among carriers across the continent.
Nearly 28 per cent of Air Canada flights, or more than 8,700, arrived late in October, placing the airline ninth out of 10 companies, Cirium reports.
WestJet came in last with nearly 29 per cent of arrivals touching down late, which is defined as more than 15 minutes after scheduled arrival.
Both airlines’ on-time percentages hit 72 per cent and 71 per cent, which falls short of the North American average of 80 per cent, and the lowest of all other regions featured in the report, including Europe, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.
U.S. carries Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, meanwhile, all ranked above 85 per cent, Cirium reports.
Despite the poor report card, Air Canada, for one, is improving slightly from its 68 per cent mark reported the previous month. Its current ranking is also higher than what it was during the summer.
In a statement to the Canadian Press, WestJet confirmed Cirium's figures, citing “a weather event that impacted our operations in Calgary at the end of the month.''
“We are pleased with our year-to-date on-time performance and the meticulous planning that has gone into ensuring that our operations over peak travel periods have been safe and reliable for those that are travelling across our network each day,'' stated WestJet spokeswoman Madison Kruger.
In August, Air Canada’s CEO Michael Rousseau, releasing the company’s Q2 results, acknowledged that the airline’s operations in June and July “were not at expected levels.”
“We are increasing our efforts to protect the customer journey from disruption, regardless of the cause,” Rousseau said at the time. “This includes using any influence we have, in such instances as pilot attrition at our principal regional partner or global supply chain issues, or working to mitigate the effects of situations beyond our control, such as disruptive storm activity in our key hubs and markets. We are confident that our efforts will generate positive outcomes.”
Rousseau's comments came one day after Cirium revealed that Air Canada ranked last in on-time performance among North America’s top ten largest airlines.