QantasLink and Regional Express (Rex) had the best records for punctuality among Australia’s domestic carriers in September, figures show.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) monthly report said QantasLink had 82.3 per cent of its flights arrive on schedule in September.
This was ahead of Rex on 80.5 per cent, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) on 75.6 per cent and Qantas on 75.1 per cent.
The BITRE report defines a flight as on-time if it arrives or departs within 15 minutes of its scheduled time.
Meanwhile, Rex was the most punctual carrier for departures in September at 84.2 per cent, with QantasLink in second place at 82.9 per cent and VARA in third place at 80.5 per cent.
Regional operators were also best in terms of cancellations – VARA had the lowest percentage of its flights cancelled at 0.6 per cent, compared with Rex on 0.9 per cent and QantasLink at 1.6 per cent.
At the other end of the table was Tigerair Australia, which had the lowest percentage of on-time arrivals and departures at 63 per cent and 66.3 per cent, respectively. It also recorded the highest cancellation rate at 3.6 per cent.
The Virgin Australia-owned low-cost carrier (LCC), which is in the process of transitioning its fleet from Airbus A320s to Boeing 737-800s, has trailed all domestic carriers in terms of punctuality for arrivals and departures since October 2018.
The BITRE report noted the on-time arrivals rate for all routes of 76.2 per cent in September was lower than the long-term average performance of 82.3 per cent.
Similarly, September’s 78.4 per cent of on-time departures trailed the long-term average of 83.7 per cent.
In terms of specific routes, flights between Alice Springs and Darwin in the Northern Territory had the highest percentage of on-time arrivals in September, with Alice Springs-Darwin at 96.3 per cent and Darwin-Alice Springs at 95.1 per cent. Cairns-Townsville was third at 93.7 per cent.
Darwin-Alice Springs also topped the list of on-time departures at 95.1 per cent, followed by Gold Coast-Adelaide at 93.2 per cent and Adelaide-Port Lincoln at 92.9 per cent.
On Australia’s busiest route between Melbourne and Sydney, about 68 per cent of all flights arrived on time, with about 74 per cent of departures pushing back from the gate within 15 minutes of schedule.
Regional ports dominated the top 10 list of airports for on-time performance, with Emerald (90.8 per cent), Gladstone (90.4 per cent) and Port Lincoln (90 per cent) best for arrivals.
Meanwhile, Bundaberg topped the list of airport on-time departures at 92.7 per cent, ahead of Mt Isa (90.8 per cent) and Port Lincoln (90.3 per cent).
No capital city airport made the top 10 for punctuality in September.
BITRE noted in its monthly report there was some variance between the airlines in terms of data collection.
Jetstar and Qantas jet services used Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) to electronically measure performance.
Meanwhile, Regional Express, Tigerair Australia, Virgin Australia, VARA and the Qantas non-jet fleet collected data manually from pilots, gate agents and/or ground crew.
On-time performance for September
|Sectors||Arrivals on time||Departures on time||Cancellations|
|Virgin Australia Regional Airlines||784||779||589||75.6||627||80.5||5||0.6|
|All Qantas designated||19492||19027||15020||78.9||15367||80.8||465||2.4|
|All Virgin Australia designated||12444||12191||9104||74.7||9527||78.1||253||2.0|