The government confirmed yesterday that last year was the worst on record for air travel delays, and the head of the nation”s largest business group immediately demanded improvements.
Department of Transportation statistics showed that airlines had an overall on-time record of 72.6 percent in 2000 the lowest since 1995, when the government began collecting such data. That means about three of every 10 flights were delayed.
Meanwhile, travelers” complaints filed with the government rose by 14 percent to 23,381. Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, declared that problems in the air traffic system have reached the point where they threaten the economy.
The Federal Aviation Administration released figures yesterday which indicate that gridlock is largely concentrated at major airports on the East Coast, contrary to the widely held perception that the entire air travel system is mired in slowdowns.
Chicago”s O”Hare International had the highest number of delays 49,202 but New Jersey”s Newark International had the highest rate of delays when the volume of flights was taken into account.