Domestic flyers have been treated to improved punctuality in 2013/14, with all local airlines bar Tigerair Australia posting a lift in on-time performance, new figures show.
In the 12 months to June 30 2014, 83.8 per cent of all flights left within 15 minutes of their scheduled departure time, the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics said on Monday. This was up from 81.1 per cent in the prior corresponding period.
It was a similar story for arrivals, with 81.9 per cent of flights reaching the gate no later than 15 minutes of their scheduled time in 2013/14, up from 78.8 per cent a year ago.
The percentage of flights cancelled dropped slightly to 1.6 per cent of all scheduled flights, from 1.7 per cent in 2012/13.
Qantas maintained its position as Australia’s most punctual airline and improved its performance of last year. The Flying Kangaroo had 87.5 per cent of all its scheduled departures and 84.7 per cent of arrivals on time in 2013/14, up from 84.7 per cent and 82.8 per cent, respectively, the prior year.
“We celebrate results like this not because it looks great on paper and we’re ticking boxes but because it means we’re delivering a premium reliable service for our customers,” Qantas domestic chief executive Lyell Strambi said in a statement.
“Our operational performance has never been stronger.”
Virgin Australia also had a better year, but continued to trail Qantas in the battle for on-time performance, with 83.8 per cent of departures and 81.7 per cent of arrivals on-time in 2013/14.
However, figures from Virgin Australia showed 84 per cent of all Virgin-branded flights (Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia regional services) arrived on time in 2013/14, one percentage point behind all Qantas-branded (Qantas and Qantaslink) services at 85 per cent.
Virgin Australia spokesman Nathan Scholz said it Virgin’s best on-time departure performance in four years, and up from 81.1 per cent in 2012/13.
“On-time performance is an absolutely important focus for Virgin Australia and we are constantly working towards improving our performance,” Scholz said on Monday.
By contrast, Tigerair Australia was the only domestic carrier to record a drop in punctuality in 2013/14, with on-time departures sliding 4.5 percentage points to 75.1 per cent. On-time arrivals slid 5.2 percentage points to 71.1 per cent.
The figures show one in four Tigerair Australia flights left more than 15 minutes late last financial year, while almost three in 10 arrived at their destination more than 15 minutes behind schedule.
Jetstar was quick to point out the figures show that it is “Australia’s most reliable low fares carrier”.
“We’ve worked hard to improve our customer proposition and a key part of our strategy has been a concerted push to improve our punctuality,” Jetstar Australian and NZ CEO David Hall said. “It’s great to see this is beginning to bear fruit with our on time performance improving during the last financial year.”
Among the regional carriers, Regional Express took out top honours, with 88.6 per cent of all its flights departing on-time and 85.8 per cent arriving on-time.
Rex was ahead of Virgin Australia’s regional operations (84.8 per cent on-time departures) and QantasLink (82.3 per cent on-time departures).
Airline 2013/14 2012/13
QF 87.5 84.7
VA 83.8 81.2
JQ 78.8 75.6
TT 75.1 79.6
REX 88.6 85.8
VA Regional 84.8 81.6
Qantaslink 82.3 78.7
Airline 2013/14 2012/13
QF 86.4 82.8
VA 81.7 78.3
JQ 79.5 76.1
TT 71.1 76.3
REX 85.8 83.1
VA Regional 82.3 78.5
Qantaslink 78.7 75.3