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WestJet improves on-time performance in April, leaping to second best in North America

Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Mar 27, 2024. A close up to a Westjet logo on a plane.
WestJet Airlines saw a "remarkable" improvement in its on-time performance in April, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium, ranking the airline in second among North America carriers. (Getty Images) (Marvin Samuel Tolentino Pineda via Getty Images)

WestJet Airlines saw a "remarkable" improvement in its on-time performance in April, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium, ranking the airline second among North America carriers.

Cirium's on-time performance report for April said WestJet's "remarkable 18-point improvement" propelled the airline from tenth place in March to second place this month among North American airlines. In March, 64.2 per cent of WestJet flights landed on time, meaning those flights landed within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time. Last month, the Calgary-based airline saw 82.7 per cent of its more than 15,000 flights arrive on time. That was enough to make it the ninth best carrier in the world for on-time performance, and put it in second in North America, behind only Delta Air Lines.

Air Canada was behind WestJet with a ninth place ranking among North America carriers, as 75.2 per cent of the nearly 31,000 flights it flew in April landing on time. It was ahead of only Frontier Airlines, which had 71.5 per cent of its more than 18,000 flights flown land on time.

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Canadian airlines have lagged behind its North American counterparts, in both on-time performance and customer satisfaction.

According to a J.D. Power survey released last week, Air Canada was one of the lowest-ranked airlines for customer satisfaction, ranking in last in the first and business class category, as well as in premium economy. The airline performed slightly better in the economy and basic category, coming in ninth out of 11 carriers. WestJet ranked fifth among seven airlines for premium economy, and claimed the seventh spot out of 11 carriers for economy. WestJet's scores were below the segment average in both categories.

In 2023, Air Canada had the worst on-time performance among the largest airlines in North America, with 63 per cent of the more than 376,000 flights it flew arriving on time, according to Cirium. WestJet Airlines ranked 7th, with 69 per cent of the more than 182,000 flights flown in 2023 landing on time.

Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.

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