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Low-cost carriers punch above their price point in March reliability

written by Jake Nelson | April 23, 2024

Jetstar and Bonza planes sit side-by-side at Sunshine Coast Airport. (Image: Sunshine Coast Airport)

Low-cost carriers Jetstar and Bonza have celebrated their March 2024 performance.

Both Bonza and Jetstar were ahead of all other major airlines for on-time arrivals in the official BITRE data for last month. Bonza led the pack, while Jetstar saw its lowest cancellation rate in more than five years and beat both Qantas and Virgin services in on-time departures.

Just 1.5 per cent of Jetstar flights were cancelled in March, only beaten by Rex and regional carrier Hinterland Aviation at 0.8 per cent each. This is its lowest cancellation rate in more than half a decade, excluding the pandemic restriction periods which saw lower flight volumes.

Flights that arrived on time were at 80.9 per cent, behind only Bonza, and 78.3 per cent of flights departed on time, ahead of Qantas and QantasLink at 78.2 per cent combined and Virgin at 76.2 per cent. Additionally, Jetstar says 96.4 per cent of its flights arrived within half an hour of schedule over March.

“While these are strong results, we remain focused on further improving our operations and delivering a safe and reliable service for our customers every time they fly with us,” said Jetstar’s chief operating officer, Matt Franzi.

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“We’ve been working incredibly hard in recent months to better prepare for when things don’t go to plan, and it shows in these latest performance figures.

“Bad weather, air traffic control restrictions and unexpected aircraft maintenance can all cause problems with getting flights away on time, so the job is never done for our teams.”

Bonza, meanwhile, once again led the table in on-time arrivals at 82.8 per cent, higher than the long-term average of 81 per cent. Its on-time departure rate of 78.6 per cent was beaten only by Rex at 79.3 per cent, and Hinterland at 87.1 per cent, though 3.5 per cent of its flights were cancelled.

“Bonza is working hard on our mission to provide affordable and accessible air travel for all Australians and we firmly believe that low-cost air travel doesn’t mean a trade-off on reliability or a great quality onboard experience,” a spokesperson said.

“This data demonstrates we are striving to deliver for Allstralia, with Bonza being top of on-time arrivals for seven of the last eight months since August 2023.”

Qantas and Virgin have also hailed the BITRE results today, with both major domestic carriers saying March was their best month for reliability in more than a year.

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