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Virgin Australia Regional Airlines tops on-time stats for November

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 22, 2016

The rebranded Fokker 100.
A Virgin Australia Fokker 100.

More than nine in 10 Virgin Australia Regional Airlines’ (VARA) flights landed or took off on time in November, allowing the carrier to finish well ahead of the rest in the punctuality stakes for the month.

Figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) showed VARA achieved a 90.1 per cent on-time arrivals rate in November, up 4.9 percentage points from the previous month.

Meanwhile, VARA also led the pack for on-time departures, with 91.2 per cent of its services pushing back from the gate within 15 minted of schedule.

Fellow regional carrier Rex was next best for arrivals and departures at 84.4 per cent and 86.6 per cent, respectively.

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 Qantas’s Jetstar eclipsed its Virgin-owned rival Tigerair Australia in on-time arrivals for the first time since May 2015. In November, Jetstar had 72.4 per cent of its flights arrive within 15 minutes of schedule, compared with Tigerair’s 71.4 per cent.

The statistics show Tigerair suffered a 7.5 percentage point drop in on-time arrivals, while its on-time departures rate slipped by an even larger 9.3 percentage points to 72.2 per cent. However, Tigerair still managed to finish ahead of Jetstar (69.5 per cent) for departures.

The monthly BITRE report also noted Rex had the lowest number of cancellations in the month at 0.6 per cent, followed by Qantas at 1.1 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, QantasLink (2.8 per cent) had the highest percentage of cancellations.

The figures showed three routes had perfect records for punctuality in November.

All 63 flights from Darwin to Alice Springs in November arrived within 15 minutes of schedule, while the Hamilton Island-Melbourne and Darwin-Alice Springs routes had an unblemished record for on-time departures.

On-time arrivals for November (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Virgin Australia Regional 90.1 (+4.9)
Rex 84.4% (+0.4)
Virgin 83.4% (-0.9)
QantasLink 82.7% (-1.8)
Qantas 80.9% (-2.3)
Jetstar 72.4% (-0.7)
Tigerair 71.4 78.9% (-7.5)

Virgin network 83.7% (-0.7)
Qantas network 81.8% (-2.1)

On-time departures for November (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Virgin Australia Regional 91.2% (+5.5)
Rex 86.6% (-0.3)
Virgin 86.1% (-1.2)
Qantas 84.1% (-0.5)
QantasLink 83.3% (-2.3)
Tigerair 72.2% (-9.3)
Jetstar 69.5% (0)

Virgin network 86.3% (-0.9)
Qantas network 83.7% (-1.4)

(Source: BITRE)

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Comments (3)

  • Bob


    The figures quoted do they have the 15 minute leeway or are they really genuine on time arrivals and departures.
    I can remember when one, two or three minutes was not acceptable and you really had to have a valid and logical reason for that delay
    Both Ansett and TAA were extremely diligent in on time departures as it was a percentage booster for passengers to travel on a particular airline It was only in the late eighties that the 15 minute leeway became the norm It only became accepted when the American Airlines allowed within 15 minutes was regarded as on time
    But because of the direction airlines have taken we seem to follow overseas airlines for ideas

  • Calvin Tsang


    Definition from BITRE

    A flight arrival is counted as “on time” if it arrived at the gate before 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival time shown in the carriers’ schedule. Neither diverted nor cancelled flights count as on time. Similarly, a flight departure is counted as “on time” if it departs the gate before 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time shown in the carriers’ schedule.

    A flight is regarded as a cancellation if it is cancelled or rescheduled less than 7 days prior to its scheduled departure time.

    On time performance is measured as the number of flights operating on time as a percentage of the number of flights operated on any particular sector. Cancellations are measured as the number of flights cancelled as a percentage of the number of flights scheduled for that particular sector.

    The method of capturing on time performance varies between airlines utilising different recording systems. Jetstar and Qantas jet aircraft use Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) to electronically measure on time performance. Regional Express, Tigerair, Virgin Australia, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines and the Qantas non-jet fleet record on time performance manually using records from pilots, gate agents and/or ground crews.

  • Jake


    There has always been much doubt and speculation about the ‘accuracy’ of Virgins ‘self reported’ numbers so is good to take it with a grain of salt any numbers that come from them or Tiger.

    I didn’t even know that Virgin Regional still existed – I know they are getting rid of alot of their aircraft.

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