Flights more frequent, less timely — report

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 16, 2012
Air travel has increased for the ninth straight year, according to a government report. (Set Jaworski)

The overall on-time performance of Australia’s domestic airlines dropped by 5 per cent last financial year, according to a compendium of government aviation statistics released today.

About 80 per cent of domestic flights left on time during 2010-11, down from 85 per cent the previous financial year. On-time arrivals were down from 84 per cent to 79 per cent, while cancellations increased from 1 per cent to 1.6 per cent.

The numbers, which cover the period from July 1 2010 through June 30 2011, in part reflect the impact of severe weather in early 2011, including Cyclones Yasi and Carlos, and the volcanic ash cloud from Chile in June 2011.

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The average on time performance was also weighed down by Tiger Airways, which managed just 65.9 per cent on-time flights, well below all other airlines. Tiger has improved its on-time performance since returning to the air following a six week grounding in July and August 2011.

For the period, Qantas led domestic carriers with an 83.1 per cent on-time arrival date, followed by Virgin at 78.7 per cent and Jetstar at 77.3 per cent.

Since 2003, the average on-time rate for Australian domestic carriers is 84.4 per cent for departures and 83.1 per cent for arrivals, with cancellations averaging 1.2 per cent.

According to the report, compiled by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, international and domestic passenger numbers increased for the ninth consecutive year, with both hitting record levels. The report said Australia’s aviation industry supports 50,000 jobs and injects more than $5 billion annually into the country’s economy.

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Some highlights:

  • Roughly 27.6 million passengers boarded international flights to or from Australia in 2010-11, a 7.3 per cent increase over the previous year. The bad news for the Australian tourism industry is that most of that growth came from Australians heading overseas (up 10.4 per cent) rather than people overseas coming here (up 3.7 per cent).
  • Domestic passenger numbers were up 5.9 per cent to 54.1 million. The major airlines carried 47.8 million passengers while regional airlines carried 6.3 million. Flights were up 6.6 per cent to 607,062. Passenger load factor, a measure of how full flights are, was down 0.9 per cent to 78.7 per cent.
  • Sydney was Australia’s busiest airport with 36 million passenger movements while Melbourne recorded 28 million passengers. Perth Airport reported the fastest growth, with passenger movements up 9 per cent, while Canberra was the only one of the country’s major airports to record to decline in passengers, down 0.5 per cent.

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