Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) figure reveal the extent of the disruption caused by the ash cloud from the Chilean Puyehue volcano in June, with Australian domestic airlines cancelling 5.3 per cent of all scheduled flights for the month, whereas typically just over one per cent of flights per month are cancelled.
“On time performance and cancellations in June 2011 were impacted by the volcanic ash cloud from Chile. Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmanian airports were most impacted with Canberra, Perth, Sydney and some regional airports also impacted over a shorter period,” BITRE’s ‘Domestic airline on time performance’ report for June notes. “The cancellation rate is the worst recorded since this collection began.”
Tiger Airways was worst hit by the ash cloud, cancelling 16.5 per cent of all flights in June. Jetstar cancelled 6.2 per cent of its flights, Qantas 6.0 per cent, Virgin Australia 5.0 per cent, QantasLink 3.9 per cent and Regional Express 2.9 per cent of flights.
“Cancellations were highest on the Hobart-Sydney route at 16.2 per cent, followed by Sydney-Hobart at 15.5 per cent, Melbourne-Hobart at 15.4 per cent, Hobart-Melbourne at 15.0 per cent and Launceston-Melbourne at 14.6 per cent,” according to BITRE.