Delta ranks No. 3 in on-time performance

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Delta Air Lines ranked No. 3 in on-time performance in 2016, behind Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines in a federal ranking.

Atlanta-based Delta had an overall on-time arrival rate of nearly 86.5 percent in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That means about one out of every seven flights was delayed, based on federal calculations.

Hawaiian Airlines had an overall on-time arrival rate of more than 91 percent last year, while Alaska Airlines posted an 87.3 percent rate.

Delta had thousands of flight cancellations due to a massive outage last August, but recovered following the effects that week. Delta was the best-performing carrier for on-time arrivals in 2016 among major legacy airlines, including American and United.

Southwest Airlines, the second-largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson, ranked 6th out of 12 carriers nationally with an 80.8 percent on-time arrival rate. ExpressJet, a Delta Connection carrier, had an on-time arrival rate of 79.8 percent.

The worst-performing airlines for on-time performance were Spirit Airlines, with a 74.3 percent on-time arrivals rate, JetBlue at 75 percent and Frontier at 76 percent.

Airline have reduced cancellations, according to the federal data. Overall, U.S. airlines canceled nearly 1.2 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, the lowest cancellation rate in in 22 years and down from 1.5 percent in 2015, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics said.

Airlines have improved their baggage handling, too, mishandling 2.7 bags per 1,000 passengers, according to the federal data. That's the lowest since 1987.

Airlines have also reduced the rate of involutarily bumped passengers, with 0.62 per 10,000 passengers in 2016, the lowest rate since 1995.

Airlines on-time arrival rate in 2016

  1. Hawaiian    91.08
  2. Alaska  87.33
  3. Delta    86.48
  4. SkyWest    82.28
  5. United    81.71
  6. Southwest    80.8
  7. ExpressJet    79.81
  8. American     79.38
  9. Virgin America    76.21
  10. Frontier    76.02
  11. JetBlue    75.01
  12. Spirit    74.32

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics