Tigerair Australia has emerged as the biggest improver in punctuality in 2015/16, new figures show, with the increase in operational reliability resulting in higher customer satisfaction scores.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) report showed 84.4 per cent of Tigerair’s domestic flights arrived within 15 minutes of schedule in the 12 months to June 30 2016, up 5.1 percentage points from the prior year.
Tigerair finished well ahead of its low-cost carrier rival Jetstar, whose on-time arrivals went backwards 4.7 percentage points to 78.2 per cent in 2015/16.
It was a similar story for on-time departures, with Tigerair improving 3.7 percentage points to 84.4 per cent, while Jetstar suffered a 6.9 percentage point decline to 75.1 per cent.
The airline also had the second lowest cancellation rate in 2015/16 at one per cent, behind Regional Express (Rex) at 0.5 per cent.
Tigerair chief executive Rob Sharp said recently improving on-time performance has been an area the Virgin Australia-owned carrier had invested heavily in.
“We’ve put processes in place that are designed to be dependable, replicable. We’ve also enhanced infrastructure access – infrastructure has been a key element to turning the business around on the operational side,” Sharp told delegates at the CAPA – Centre for Aviation Australia Pacific Aviation Summit in Brisbane on August 4.
“Partnering with best-of-breed engineering and also investing in a number of customer innovations which have also improved on-time performance.
“No magic silver bullet, lots of particular focus areas have come together.”
Sharp said the focus on punctuality alongside other operational changes have been noticed by passengers, with customer satisfaction up 20 per cent since October 2014, while 75 per cent were likely to recommend flying with Tigerair to their family and friends.
“One of the main factors that is obvious to people around Tiger is the on-time performance,” Sharp said.
“Even at the budget end of the market, getting people to where they want to go, to the footy match or the wedding or whatever is really, really critical.”
“The customers who are flying us are seeing a changed organisation.”
Previously, Tigerair has credited the work of BAE Systems Australia, which provided base maintenance services for its fleet of Airbus A320s, securing better access to terminal gates, check-in counters and kiosks at Sydney Airport and the move to Melbourne Tullamarine’s new Terminal 4, as factors in improving the airline’s punctuality.
Meanwhile, Virgin was Australia’s most punctual airline in 2015/16, with 89.5 per cent of its flights arriving within 15 minutes of schedule and 90.6 per cent of departures pushing back on time.
The airline finished ahead of Qantas, which had an on-time arrivals rate of 88.8 per cent and on-time departures rate of 89.7 per cent.
Among the regional carriers, QantasLink had the highest percentage of on-time arrivals at 86.4 per cent, while Rex took out the on-time departures’ honours at 88.5 per cent.
On-time arrivals for 2015/16 (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from prior year)
Virgin 89.5% (+2.7)
Qantas 88.8% (+1.6)
QantasLink 86.4% (+2.3)
Rex 85.5% (+0.5)
Tigerair 84.4% (+5.1)
Virgin Australia Regional 83.8% (-1.0)
Jetstar 78.2% (-4.7)
Virgin network 88.8% (+2.4)
Qantas network 87.5% (+1.9)
On-time departures for 2015/16 (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from prior year)
Virgin 90.6% (+2.4)
Qantas 89.7% (+1.4)
Rex 88.5% (+0.3)
QantasLink 87.1% (+0.9)
Tigerair 85.5% (+3.7)
Virgin Australia Regional 85.2% (-1.7)
Jetstar 75.1% (-6.9)
Virgin network 90.0% (+2.1)
Qantas network 88.3% (+1.1)