It was a tight bunch at the top of the punctuality tables in October, with Virgin Australia and its regional arm taking the honours for on-time performance.
Figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) showed Virgin Australia regional had the highest percentage of on-time arrivals in October with 85.2 per cent of its services arriving within 15 minutes of schedule. The figure was unchanged from the previous month.
Regional carriers finished one-two in terms of on-time arrivals, with QantasLink in second place at 84.5 per cent. Virgin was third at 84.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, Virgin led the pack for on-time departures at 87.3 per cent, up 0.3 percentage points from September. Regional Express (Rex) was a close second at 86.9 per cent, followed by Virgin Australia Regional at 85.7 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.
Among the low-cost carriers, Tigerair Australia again finished ahead of rival Jetstar in the punctuality stakes.
Tigerair achieved an on-time arrivals rate of 78.9 per cent in October, down 3.7 per cent from September, while its on-time departures was 3.2 percentage points lower in the month at 81.5 per cent.
Jetstar had 72.4 per cent of its flights arrive on time, while more than three in 10 of its flights left the game more than 15 minutes later than the scheduled departure.
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.”
The monthly BITRE report also noted Rex had the lowest number of cancellations in the month at 0.5 per cent, followed by Tigerair at 1.1 per cent.
At the other end of the scale, QantasLink (2.8 per cent) and Virgin Australia Regional (2.4 per cent) had the highest number of cancellations.
The figures showed Ayers Rock Airport had the highest percentage of on-time arrivals at 95.1 per cent in October, while Moranbah Airport topped the list for on-time departures at 94 per cent. There were no capital city airports in the top 10 for either on-time arrivals or departures.
On-time arrivals for October (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Virgin Australia Regional 85.2% (0)
QantasLink 84.5% (+1.2)
Virgin 84.3% (-0.8)
Rex 84.0% (+0.7)
Qantas 83.2% (-3.8)
Tigerair 78.9% (-3.7)
Jetstar 72.4% (-4.4)
Virgin network 84.4% (-0.7)
Qantas network 83.9% (-1.1)
On-time departures for October (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Virgin 87.3% (+0.3)
Rex 86.9% (+0.7)
Virgin Australia Regional 85.7% (-2.7)
QantasLink 85.6% (+0.8)
Qantas 84.6% (-3.3)
Tigerair 81.5% (-3.2)
Jetstar 69.5% (-4.9)
Virgin network 87.2% (+0.1)
Qantas network 85.1% (-1.2)