Ranked: The best and worst airlines for delays in October

written by Adam Thorn | November 21, 2022

Victor Pody shot this Jetstar A321neo, the first of a planned fleet of 38

Jetstar had another month to forget after it was named the worst airline for delays in October and the second worst for cancellations.

The budget carrier last month blamed its poor performance on having to cancel numerous Bali flights following a number of freak events grounding its 787s, including “multiple” lightning and bird strikes.

However, updated BITRE figures from the Department of Transport show little improvement, despite Jetstar promising it would have all its Dreamliners back by early October.

On-time arrivals

  1. Qantas — 74.2 per cent (5)
  2. QantasLink — 74.1 per cent (2)
  3. VARA — 73.7 per cent (3)
  4. Rex — 68.3 per cent (1)
  5. Virgin — 64.5 per cent (4)
  6. Jetstar — 64.4 per cent (6)

On-time departures

  1. QantasLink — 74.5 per cent (2)
  2. Qantas — 73.1 per cent (5)
  3. Rex — 70.5 per cent (1)
  4. VARA — 69.2 per cent (3)
  5. Virgin — 62.6 per cent (4)
  6. Jetstar — 61.6 per cent (6)


  1. Qantas — 1.2 per cent (4)
  2. Rex — 2.2 per cent (2)
  3. QantasLink — 3.0 per cent (3)
  4. Virgin — 3.6 per cent (1)
  5. Jetstar — 3.9 per cent (6)
  6. VARA — 5.1 per cent (5)

The best and worst-performing airlines are shown above, while the worst-performing routes are ranked below. All data is for October 2022 with last month’s rankings in brackets. 

In better news for the wider group, Qantas completed a turnaround from being the worst airline in the country for cancellations to being the best.

The Flying Kangaroo was also the top-performing carrier for avoiding delays, with its on-time arrivals leaping from 66 per cent in September to 74 per cent in October.

The good news comes after a year when the national carrier has faced a string of problems, including huge delays at Easter, hours-long call wait times, and even a revelation that the cabin crew of a Qantas A330 were made to sleep across seats in economy.

Across the industry, school holidays led to the worst delays on record in April, June and July.

Qantas announced earlier this year the business would invest $200 million for the remainder of the financial year to roster additional crew, train new recruits and pay for overtime in contact centres.

It also said its new “conservative” approach to scheduling meant 20 per cent of its available seats would be left in reserve.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said, “It’s clear that maintaining our pre-COVID service levels requires a lot more operational buffer than it used to, especially when you consider the sick leave spikes and supply chain delays that the whole industry is dealing with.

“That means having more crew and more aircraft on standby and adjusting our flying schedule to help make that possible, until we’re confident that extra support is no longer needed.”

Route Airline Flights Scheduled Cancellations Departures Delayed On Time Departures
Perth-Brisbane Jetstar  19  1  17 5.6
Perth-Sydney Jetstar  43  2  36 12.2
Darwin-Sydney Jetstar  26  2  18 25.0
Sunshine Coast-Melbourne Qantas  11  0  8 27.3
Perth-Adelaide Jetstar  27  1  18 30.8
Canberra-Gold Coast Jetstar  18  0  12 33.3
Canberra-Gold Coast QantasLink  3  0  2 33.3
Gold Coast-Canberra QantasLink  3  0  2 33.3
Sunshine Coast-Melbourne QantasLink  33  1  21 34.4
Adelaide-Sydney Virgin Australia  139  8  85 35.1
Perth-Melbourne Jetstar  75  4  46 35.2
Adelaide-Canberra Virgin Australia  17  0  11 35.3
Darwin-Melbourne Jetstar  25  0  16 36.0
Hamilton Island-Sydney Jetstar  25  0  16 36.0
Port Hedland-Perth Virgin Australia  11  0  7 36.4
Brisbane-Perth Jetstar  19  0  12 36.8
Launceston-Sydney Jetstar  39  1  24 36.8
Darwin-Perth QantasLink  19  0  12 36.8
Sunshine Coast-Sydney Jetstar  91  3  55 37.5
Launceston-Sydney QantasLink  16  0  10 37.5
Adelaide-Perth VARA  45  4  25 39.0
Launceston-Sydney All Airlines  86  2  51 39.3

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Comments (4)

  • Stephen Gittus


    I recently flew Jetstar and needed wheelchair and the people at the airport and cabin crew were fantastic .thank you very much

  • AgentGerko


    Jetstar worst in just about everything. That should be a good reason for Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce to give himself a bonus. Everything else seems to be a good reason to.

  • S Randall


    Jetstar wouldn’t let us on the flight due to my Husbands passport having some brown marks.
    No rebursement for flights lost. I can even get a complaint in as the chat line wont give me a case number. There is nothing said in the requirements for flying to Bali on the Jetstar website.
    I just want to warn other people and I can’t complain with aviation because I don’t have a customer care number.
    Very very disappointing

  • Frank


    I flew with Jetstar on 12 September this year. I was overcharged $20 for alcoholic drinks. They will not refund me but issued a $20 flight voucher. I want my money NOT a $20 flight voucher. I wonder how many other times they have done this.

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