Alaska Airlines received good news on two fronts yesterday. The Seattle-based carrier completed 69. 1 percent of its flights on time in...

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Alaska Airlines received good news on two fronts yesterday.

The Seattle-based carrier completed 69.1 percent of its flights on time in August, up from 63.7 percent of its flights in July, according to the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Separately, Alaska was voted the top airline in the country in an annual survey of business travelers, the most coveted sector of the air-travel market.

Despite the improvement in its on-time numbers, Alaska ranked 17th out of the country’s top 20 airlines in August, the same position it occupied in July.

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Alaska is likely to rise in the standings in the next report, however.

Just over 78 percent of Alaska flights arrived on schedule in September, according to Amanda Tobin, an Alaska spokeswoman.

The airline transitioned to its lighter fall schedule in mid-September, Tobin said, just as it has in previous years.

Alaska is continuing to rebound from having the worst on-time performance among all major airlines in May and June, when it reported 59 percent and 49.8 percent of flights arriving on time, respectively.

Alaska officials attributed the earlier problems to a combination of more-crowded planes, labor negotiations and changes in its work force.

In May, Alaska pilots took pay cuts of up to 34 percent imposed by an arbitrator, and the airline outsourced 472 unionized baggage-handling jobs at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine polled more than 10,000 readers who identified themselves as frequent business travelers.

Alaska received the top ranking for its first-class and coach service for the first time.

Alaska was rated No. 1 for cabin service and frequent-flier privileges, and scored in the top two for value, food and beverages, seat comfort and legroom.

“We are honored to receive this recognition, as it truly reflects all that we’ve been doing to raise the bar in providing exceptional value and service to our business travelers,” said Tom Romary, the airline’s vice president of marketing.

The proliferation of low-fare airlines modeled after Southwest Airlines has resulted in fierce price competition for leisure travelers.

Consequently, Alaska and other U.S. carriers rely on business travelers for much of their profits.

David Bowermaster: 206-464-2724 or