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Airline Punctuality Improves in July

Ever have one of those days where your to-do list has a million tasks on it and you’re running late the whole while? Then the next day you have next to nothing going on and you’re on time or—gasp—early? That pretty much describes the state of the airline industry, which is posting markedly improved on-time rates as airlines cut flights across the country.

July, in fact, was the best in six years, as 77.6 percent of all flights were on time, up from 75.7 percent last July. The flip side, of course, is an 8 percent drop in flights since last year. Cancellations were also down over last year (as well as last month).

For all of 2009, the airline industry is operating at a 78.7 percent on-time rate, the third highest since 1995.

Again, the story here is a simple one: Fewer planes equals better service. And it isn’t the first time we’ve heard it, either. But I suppose it’s a silver lining of sorts for travelers that, amidst all the chaos of canceled flights and skyrocketing fees, we’re getting from point A to point B on time (most of the time).

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