Australian domestic carriers bar QantasLink suffered a decline in punctuality in May, latest figures show.
The Qantas regional carrier was the only airline to record an improvement in on-time performance in May, with the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) monthly report showing 88.4 per cent of its flights departed within 15 minutes of schedule in the month, up from 88.1 per cent in April.
Meanwhile, QantasLink’s on-time arrivals rate was unchanged at 88 per cent in May. The airline was the best of the domestic regional operators, ahead of Regional Express (87 per cent) and Virgin Australia Regional (80.6 per cent).
Among the mainline domestic carriers, Virgin Australia topped the arrivals rankings for a third straight month, with 90.1 per cent of its flights arriving on time, ahead of Qantas on 89 per cent.
In terms of low-cost carriers, Tigerair remained ahead of its rival Jetstar.
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 Australian domestic route for on-time arrivals was from Melbourne Tullamarine to Hamilton Island (100 per cent), while the Canberra to Adelaide route topped the charts for on-time departures at 98.6 per cent.
Brisbane was the only capital city airport to feature in the top 10 for airport punctuality in the month, achieving on-time arrivals of 92.5 per cent and on-time departures of 92.3 per cent.
Although minor compared with the East Coast Low that struck in early June, airline operations in May were also impacted by some windy weather and fog across a number of airports.
For example, on May 27 Sydney Airport tweeted it was on single runway operations due to strong winds.
⚠️ We are currently under single runway operations due to high winds. Please check with your airline for ✈️ updates. pic.twitter.com/k1ZKHu41b0
— Sydney Airport ✈️ (@SydneyAirport) May 27, 2016
Meanwhile, Airservices advised in a May 3 tweet Perth and Brisbane airports were impacted by fog, while there were strong winds at Melbourne Tullamarine.
— AirservicesAustralia (@AirservicesNews) May 2, 2016
The morning fog may cause some delays as operations are slowed for safety.
— Brisbane Airport ✈️ (@BrisbaneAirport) May 2, 2016
On-time arrivals for May (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Virgin 90.1% (-2.0)
Qantas 89.0% (-1.8)
QantasLink 88.0% (0)
Rex 87.0% (-1.3)
Tigerair 86.3% (-3.3)
Jetstar 82.6% (-0.3)
Virgin Australia Regional 80.6% (-4.1)
Virgin network 89.7% (-2.1)
Qantas network 88.5% (-0.9)
On-time departures for May (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Virgin 91.1% (-1.9)
Qantas 90.5% (-0.8)
Rex 89.5% (-1.9)
QantasLink 88.4% (+0.3)
Tigerair 87.5% (-3.1)
Virgin Australia Regional 85.6% (-2.6)
Jetstar 79.3% (-0.4)
Virgin network 90.8% (-2.0)
Qantas network 89.4% (-0.2)