Thursday, July 31, 2008

Aerolíneas by the Numbers

Everyone knows Aerolíneas Argentinas has serious problems, but now we have statistical confirmation of it. Until yesterday, I had never heard of the Asociación Argentina de Derecho de Turismo (AADETUR, Argentine Association of Tourism Law), a self-described travel consumer advocate, but it's published an interesting study of airline arrivals and departures. Unfortunately for English monolinguals, it's in Spanish only, but its tables are pretty easy to follow.

Not all of the study is online, but other parts appear in an article in yesterday's Clarín. Last year, only 24 percent of Aerolíneas flights departed on time, compared with 73 percent for LAN Argentina, though it's fair to add that Aerolíneas has much more extensive routes. Still, given the fact that Aerolíneas' delays often affect other airlines, it's remarkable that LAN could maintain its schedules in such a timely manner.

So far this year, Aerolíneas has almost doubled its ontime record, but it's barely half the flights and, after a shaky start to the winter holidays, that figure might drop dramatically. On the other hand, AADETUR ranks Aerolíneas and its domestic affiliate Austral as 81st and 82nd of 90 airlines around the world in ontime performance. Only a few airlines ranked worse, and most of those came from countries such Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Libya and Algeria.

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