Virgin Australia has edged out Qantas for on-time honours in March, latest figures show.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) said in its monthly report on on-time performance 88.2 per cent of the combined Virgin Australia/Virgin Australia Regional Airlines network’s flights arrived within 15 minutes of schedule in March.
This was ahead of the Qantas/QantasLink operations at 86.6 per cent.
The combined Virgin/VARA network was also ahead of Qantas for on-time departures at 89.5 per cent, compared with Qantas/QantasLink at 87.7 per cent.
All airlines suffered a decline in their on-time performance in March compared with the previous month – when they were at near record levels – with Tigerair Australia reporting the biggest fall in punctuality.
Tigerair’s on-time arrivals fell 11 percentage points to 81.2 per cent, while its on-time departures declined 10.9 percentage points to 82.1 per cent.
Despite the decline, Tigerair remains ahead of its low-cost rival Jetstar, which continued to trail the pack with an on-time arrivals rate of 79.3 per cent and on-time arrivals rate of 76.9 per cent.
The battle for passengers has led to a strong emphasis on punctuality for airlines in an effort to attract and retain customers, particularly those in the lucrative corporate and government travel sector.
The top four Australian domestic routes for on-time arrivals all involved Brisbane Airport – Brisbane-Mount Isa Mount Isa-Brisbane, Brisbane-Hobart and Hobart-Brisbane were all perfect for punctuality in March.
Further, all 81 scheduled flights at Mount Isa Airport from Qantas, Virgin and QantasLink departed and arrived on-time in March.
On-time arrivals for March (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Virgin Australia Regional 90.3% (-0.4)
Virgin 88.2% (-5.1)
Qantas 87.5% (-5.8)
QantasLink 85.8% (-3.3)
Rex 83.1% (-4.1)
Tigerair 81.2% (-11)
Jetstar 79.3% (-4.7)
Virgin network 88.3% (-4.9)
Qantas network 86.6% (-4.5)
On-time departures for March (figure in brackets indicates change from previous month)
Virgin Australia Regional 90.7% (-1.3)
Qantas 89.0% (-4.7)
Rex 86.9% (-3.3)
Virgin 89.5% (-4)
QantasLink 86.4% (-2.8)
Tigerair 82.1% (-10.9)
Jetstar 76.9% (-3.4)
Virgin network 89.5% (-3.9)
Qantas network 87.7% (-3.7)