American Airlines got more reliable at O'Hare Airport in January
Posted On: Feb 06, 2020
January was another improving month operationally for American Airlines at its third-largest hub at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD).
As operational data indicates, under the leadership of Franco Tedeschi, American’s more than 9,000 employees based at ORD are doing their part to prove to customers that AA is intent on regaining a reputation for operational reliability.
American took a drubbing for much of 2019 as the airline engaged in a bitter contract battle with mechanics that impacted operations. AA month after month also had to make abrupt schedule changes as the Boeing 737 MAX remained grounded. Plus the carrier battled numerous bouts of bad weather at several of its largest hubs, including O’Hare and Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW).
But the ugly operational situation showed signs of beginning to turn around late in the fall of last year. And AA’s January ops numbers at O’Hare provided to the Chicago Business Journal show that turnaround continuing to gather steam.
American completed 15 days of operations at O’Hare without cancelling any mainline or regional flights among several hundred that operated daily. Breaking down flight cancellation data further, American operated 21 days at O’Hare with zero mainline cancellations, and AA notched zero regional flight cancellations on 18 days in January.
American showed improvement at O'Hare in on-time departures and arrivals
The number of AA flights departing on or before their scheduled departure time jumped 11.3 percent last month compared to the same period a year ago.
The news was even better on the on-time arrivals front. AA got 15.1 percent more flights to the gate on time at O'Hare in January than it did a year ago. However, systemwide in January, AA still trailed its three principal domestic rivals in on-time arrival performance, as OAG data released on Thursday indicated.
American achieved these operational improvements in January at O’Hare as traffic at the airport was growing substantially year over year. AA enplaned more than 1 million customers at O’Hare in January, an increase of 19.75 percent year over year. O’Hare registered AA’s second highest traffic growth last month among all American hub airports.
The load factor in January on American flights departing O’Hare also grew year over year by 4.9 percentage points, the largest growth registered at any American Airlines hub airport. Load factor is the percentage of seats filled by paying customers.
In an internal memo to more than 120,000 AA employees obtained by the Chicago Business Journal, AA Senior Vice President Operations David Seymour reminded the team how important the carrier’s ultimate goal of restoring reliability is: “Running the safest and most reliable operations is the best way we can can care for our customers and colleagues.”