Ranked: The best and worst airlines for delays in November

written by Adam Thorn | January 4, 2023

Victor Pody shot Jetstar’s first A321 Neo, VH-OFE

Jetstar has continued its poor recent run of performance after being ranked the worst airline for cancellations in November.

The budget airline was also the least reliable for on-time departures and second-least reliable for on-time arrivals.

However, parent airline Qantas continued its recent revival, performing strongly across all metrics despite a largely poor 2022.

On-time arrivals

  1. QantasLink — 74.9 per cent (2)
  2. Qantas — 66.8 per cent  (1)
  3. Rex —65.0 per cent (4)
  4. VARA — 64.9 per cent (3)
  5. Jetstar — 61.3 per cent (6)
  6. Virgin — 60.9 per cent (5)

On-time departure

  1. QantasLink — 74.7 per cent (1)
  2. Rex Airlines — 67.2 per cent (3)
  3. VARA — 65.9 per cent (4)
  4. Qantas — 65.8 per cent (2)
  5. Virgin — 61.9 per cent (5)
  6. Jetstar — 60.7 per cent (6)


  1. Rex Airlines — 3.1 per cent (2)
  2. QantasLink — 3.6 per cent  (3)
  3. Qantas — 3.7 per cent (1)
  4. Virgin — 4.9 per cent (4)
  5. VARA — 6.0 per cent (6)
  6. Jetstar — 7.2 per cent (5)

The best and worst-performing airlines are shown above. All data is for November 2022, with last month’s rankings in brackets. 

The latest BITRE data released by the Department of Transport reveals that overall industry performance is still far below pre-pandemic levels, despite recovering from the lowest points of 2022.

“For November 2022, on-time performance over all routes operated by participating airlines (Jetstar, Qantas, QantasLink, Rex Airlines, Virgin Australia and VARA) averaged 66.2 per cent for on time arrivals and 66.5 per cent for on-time departures,” it said.

“The cancellation rate for the month was 4.4 per cent. The equivalent figures for November 2021 were 87.4 per cent for on-time arrivals, 87.0 per cent for on time departures and 2.4 per cent for cancellations.

“This month’s on-time arrivals figure was significantly lower than the long-term average performance for all routes (81.7 per cent) and the on time departures figure was also significantly lower than the long-term average (82.9 per cent).

“The rate of cancellations was higher than the long-term average of 2.1 per cent.

“Cancellations were highest on the Melbourne-Sydney route at 11.9 per cent, followed by the Sydney-Melbourne route at 11.6 per cent, the Canberra-Sydney route at 9.5 per cent, the Sydney-Canberra route at 9.2 per cent and the Sydney-Brisbane and Gold Coast-Sydney routes at 7.7 per cent.”

Despite Qantas’ recent turnaround, the airline will continue to be tested over the coming months after it announced plans to boost its domestic capacity by 2 points to 104 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in the fourth quarter of FY23.

The increase will include 57 additional return services per week on the “golden triangle” of Sydney–Melbourne–Brisbane and adding seats to transcontinental services to-and-from Perth using the airline’s Airbus A330 fleet.

Earlier in 2022, Qantas ranked as the worst airline for cancellations as it battled staff shortages and sickness absences.

The turnaround was mostly due to it holding staff and flights in reserve to deal with problems. However, the airline is now looking to ramp back up to 2019 levels of service.

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