Virgin Australia vaulted back to the top of the table for domestic on-time performance in June while Tigerair Australia posted a big lift in punctuality, new figures show.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) report showed 92.1 per cent of Virgin’s flights arrived on time in the month, while 93.2 per cent of its services pushed back from the departure gate on time.
Rival Qantas, which led the punctuality rankings in May, dropped back to second in June with a 90.7 per cent on time arrival rate and 91.4 per cent on time departure rate despite also lifting its performance in the month.
Qantas and Virgin have been battling for on-time honours in recent times given the importance placed on punctuality for all travellers and especially the lucrative corporate and government travel market. The two have swapped the lead on several occasions in recent times.
The BITRE report defines a flight as on-time if it leaves or arrives within 15 minutes of the published schedule.
Meanwhile, Tigerair was the biggest improver in June, with its on time departure performance improving 4.9 percentage points to 89.5 per cent, while the Virgin-owned low-cost carrier lifted its on time arrivals 5.5 percentage points to 87.5 per cent.
It was the third-best performance for any airline in the month.
Among the regional carriers, Regional Express (Rex) had the best departure performance with 88.1 per cent of flights on time while QantasLink achieved the highest rate of on time arrivals at 86.1 per cent.
The BITRE report said it was a good month for all domestic travellers, with the on-time performance in June above the long-term average for both arrivals and departures.
And two routes had perfect records in the month, with 100 per cent of Melbourne-Hamilton Island departures taking off on time and all Canberra-Adelaide arrivals reaching the gate within 15 minutes of schedule.
Travellers between Canberra and Sydney suffered the highest percentage of cancellations in June, with 5.1 per cent of Canberra-Sydney flights cancelled, while the cancellation rate in the reverse direction was 4.6 per cent.
On-time departures for June (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Virgin 93.2% (+2.9)
Qantas 91.4% (+0.6)
Tigerair 89.5% (+4.9)
Rex 88.1% (—0.4)
QantasLink 87.4% (+0.6)
Virgin Australia Regional 85.2% (+0.5)
Jetstar 81.8% (-2.2)
Virgin network 91.7% (+2.5)
Qantas network 89.4% (+0.7)
On-time arrivals for June (figure in brackets indicates change from previous month)
Virgin 92.1% (+3.3)
Qantas 90.7% (+1.1)
Tigerair 87.5% (+5.5)
QantasLink 86.1% (+1.0)
Rex 85.3% (—0.7)
Virgin Australia Regional 84.8% (+1.4)
Jetstar 83.4% (-0.9)
Virgin network 90.7% (+2.9)
Qantas network 88.3% (+1.0)