Qantas returned to the top of the punctuality table in September, ending Virgin Australia’s three-month run as the nation’s most on-time domestic carrier.
Figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) show Qantas had the highest percentage of on-time arrivals in September, with 91.8 per cent of its domestic flights reaching their destination within 15 minutes of schedule.
Virgin, which had led all domestic carriers for on-time arrivals in June, July and August, slipped to second place in September at 91.3 per cent, followed by Tigerair Australia (86.4 per cent) and Jetstar (83.1 per cent).
Among the regional carriers, QantasLink was best for on-time arrivals at 88.2 per cent, ahead of Regional Express (Rex) at 87.5 per cent and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (81.8 per cent).
Qantas and Virgin have been battling for on-time honours in recent times given the importance placed on punctuality for all travellers, especially those in the lucrative corporate and government travel sector. The two have swapped the lead on several occasions over the past year.
The BITRE report said the Qantas network, which combines Qantas mainline and QantasLink’s domestic operations, had 90 per cent of its flights arrive on time, compared with the combined Virgin Australia/Virgin Australia Regional Airlines network at 89.6 per cent.
While Virgin did surrender the on-time arrivals lead, the airline had the highest percentage of on-time departures at 92 per cent in September, up 3.3 percentage points from the previous month.
Qantas came in next at 91.8 per cent, while Rex was best among the regional operators with 90.3 per cent of its flights departing within 15 minutes of schedule.
Among the specific routes the BITRE report publishes statistics for, Adelaide-Alice Springs had a perfect punctuality record in September, with all 43 flights operated by Qantas and Virgin combined arriving on time.
In terms of specific airports, Proserpine Airport reported a leading 98.8 per cent on-time arrivals performance, while Port Hedland Airport had 95.6 per cent of flights depart within 15 minutes of schedule.
On-time arrivals for September (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Qantas 91.8% (-0.5)
Virgin 91.3% (-1.4)
QantasLink 88.2% (+1.1)
Rex 87.5% (+1.6)
Tigerair 86.4% (-1.2)
Jetstar 83.1% (-4.0)
Virgin Australia Regional 81.8% (-3.3)
Qantas network 90.0% (+0.3)
Virgin network 89.6% (-1.6)
On-time departures for September (figure in brackets indicates change from previous month)
Virgin 92.0% (+3.3)
Qantas 91.8% (-0.5)
Rex 90.3% (+2.6)
QantasLink 88.8% (+0.8)
Tigerair 86.9% (-1.4)
Virgin Australia Regional 82.3% (-3.6)
Jetstar 80.4% (-5.1)
Qantas network 90.3% (+0.2)
Virgin network 90.3% (-2.0)