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Despite snowstorms, airlines cancel few flights in February

April 6, 2011 |  2:04 pm

Winter-storm-90f4f5c276d5f784 Despite snowstorms that dumped tons of snow and ice on the Midwest and Northeast this winter, the nation's airlines only canceled about 5% of flights in February, according the latest federal aviation statistics.

The cancellation rate of 4.9% in February was slightly lower than the 5.4% cancellation rate of February 2010, according to a report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The nation's largest airlines also reported an average overall on-time performance of 74.5% in February, down slightly from both the 74.7% on-time rate of February 2010 and the 76.3% rate for January 2011.

The nation's major airlines also reported no flights in February that were delayed on a runway for more than three hours, down from 60 flights in February 2010, according to the bureau.

Delays of three hours or longer have dropped dramatically since April 2010, when the federal government adopted stiff fines for airlines that leave passengers stuck aboard delayed flights for longer than three hours.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Crews work to clear snow at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in February 2010. Credit: Associated Press