Wichita, Kansas isn’t a good place to fly to if you need to be on time.
- Nearly one of four flights from major commercial airlines arrived late at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport in the first five months of this year.
- Late arrivals in Wichita ran an average of 56 minutes behind schedule.
“The delays at Mid-Continent Airport are not delays at Mid-Continent Airport,” said Bailis Bell, the airport’s director. “They are delays at other airports in the system. Delays at this airport because of congestion, bad weather or equipment are rare.”
About one-third of daily flights serving Mid-Continent operate between Wichita and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport or Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport. Atlanta ranked 27th out of the nation’s 31 biggest airports in on-time performance. Chicago was last.
Atlantic Coast Airlines had the most delays of any carrier nationwide, and also led Wichita’s late flights, working as partners with United Airlines out of Chicago.
I suspect that on-time performance will improve as a result of activities far away from Kansas.
Atlantic Coast, the largest carrier at Washington-Dulles for year (operating as United Express), has been an operational disaster to be avoided at all costs. Now that they’ve severed their relationship with United to go forward as the new low-cost carrier Independence Air, things can only improve for United Express markets that they used to serve.
There’ll be a shakeout period as replacement carriers get their feet wet in new markets, but oddly enough Wichita stands to benefit from the creation of a low cost carrier that doesn’t even serve the city.