Air Inuit, Air North get high marks for on-time southern flights

Two northern airlines came out well in a ranking of how often scheduled flights arrive on time. Air Inuit had the best record and Air North came fourth, though the analysis focused only on flights between major southern cities.

Analysts studied 6 months of data from major routes in southern Canada

An Air North aircraft takes off from the Whitehorse airport. The analysis focused only on major routes in southern Canada. (Air North)

Two northern airlines — Air Inuit and Air North — have good records for on-time arrivals when flying in the south, a new study has found.

The 10 and 3, a website focusing on data analysis and mapping, reviewed six months worth of flight information from eight major Canadian cities in the south. Any flight arriving within 15 minutes of its scheduled arrival time was considered on time.

It found that Air Inuit had the best record, with flights arriving on time 90.8 per cent of the time. The data set was small, however, as analysts looked at Air Inuit's short-haul Montreal-Quebec City route and not its flights to and from regional airports in Nunavut and Nunavik.

Air North ranked fourth, but its data set was limited to the airline's short Calgary-Edmonton route, and not its more frequent and longer flights to and from Yukon communities.

Arik Motskin of The 10 and 3 recognizes the southern focus of the study, but said it still shows Northern carriers are sometimes out-performing the big players. 

"There really is a lot more competition in the airline industry in Canada than some might think, and some of these smaller regional and Northern airlines are available, even on some of the major routes," Motskyn said.

Among the larger carriers, Westjet came out on top, with 86 per cent of its flights between major southern centres arriving on time. Air Canada flights were on time 83.3 per cent of the time, and Air Canada Jazz 83 per cent. 

The worst-performing airline studied was Sunwing, a discount air carrier whose main business is transporting vacationers to palm-lined beaches in Mexico and the Caribbean. It's on-time performance for major routes within Canada was 63.1 per cent.

Motskin said The 10 and 3 now hopes to expand its analysis to look at more commercial flights arriving and departing from more Canadian airports.  

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