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Air Tran tops ontime arrivals in December, ends Hawaiian Air streak

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Air Tran Airways operated the most ontime flights in December 2011, ending a 37 month streak held by Hawaiian Airlines, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published in their monthly consumer report Monday. The airline, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, reported that 91.9% of all operating flights arrived ontime in December, compared with 91.0% for second place Hawaiian.

Hawaiian Airlines had held the top spot for ontime arrivals in an unbroken streak dating back to October 2008. The bulk of that airline's operations are in Hawai'i where favorable weather delays less often. The airline also operates a fleet of newer Boeing and Airbus aircraft, which provides greater dispatch reliability. Hawaiian acknowledge Air Tran's ousting in a press release touting 2011 as the eighth consecutive year the airline has held the top spot for year-end ontime performance.

"We congratulate AirTran Airways for earning the top spot in December and we look forward to the challenge of regaining that position in 2012." said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO.

Hawaiian held on to the #1 spot for ontime performance for all of 2011, with an average of 92.8% of all flights arriving ontime. Air Tran ranked 3rd, with an average of 84.4%. Out of all carriers in the survey, Southwest Airlines holds the cumulative top spot since the survey began in 1987, with a 25 year average of 81.9% The DOT considers a flight ontime if it arrives within 15 minutes of its original schedule.

The full text of the DOT Air Travel Consumer Report for December 2011 can be found here.

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