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FAA Reports Flight Delays Down 11.1 Percent in July

Aired August 10, 2000 - 1:13 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Amid a growing chorus of complaints about airline service this summer, the Federal Aviation Administration has released its latest report on flight delays.

CNN's Carl Rochelle is standing by with all the details.

Oh, I hope it's better news, Carl.

CARL ROCHELLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, it's a little better. But if you flew last month -- and I'm sure you did -- you found out that there are still delays out there -- 44,401 to be exact, according to the FAA. Now, that's 11.1 percent better than in June, 11.1 percent less delays than in June, but still an awful lot of delays.

The FAA says it's good considering the weather because the weather, the convective weather -- and by that they mean thunderstorms -- the weather was 50 percent worse at the 22 major airports that they hub aircraft through, the major airlines fly through, than it was in July of last year.

Now, up are the errors that are -- the delays that are associated with operations, the number of flights going in and out of airports. And the FAA says one of the reasons for that is because there has been a 2.1 percent increase in the number of flights. So the number of flights flying into and out of the major airports continues to grow.

One thing that's sort of an anomaly here, there was a little bit of an increase at Chicago where United is having all of these difficulties -- a little bit of an increase in delays, operational and other nature, and of a weather nature. But one of the things that they don't calculate is canceled flights. So all of those canceled flights that you've been hearing about from United are not a factor in the delays that they calculated.

So if those flights had taken place, who knows? Perhaps the delays could have been worse. But certainly bad enough -- 44,401 in July, Kyra. The FAA says they're working on the problem. They're trying to come up with more solutions and try to make it better, but they agree they have a long way yet to go, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Well, we can only hope it gets better. Carl Rochelle, thank you.

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