Melbourne-Sunshine Coast was the fastest-growing air route in Australia in the year ended June 2016, Hobart Airport was the least reliable airport for on-time departures, and Townsville Airport was the most reliable for getting into the air on time.
The rankings emerge from statistics for the year, collated by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).
Melbourne-Sydney remained Australia’s busiest regular passenger route (scheduled flights, not chartered) with 8.8 million passengers, an increase of 4% compared with the year ending June 2015. It was followed by Brisbane-Sydney with 4.61 million passengers (up 4.5%) and Brisbane-Melbourne with 3.44 million passengers (up 3.6%).
The winner on growth (greatest percentage increase in scheduled traffic, compared to the previous year) was the Melbourne-Sunshine Coast route (up 12.6%). There were large increases on a number of other routes, including Sunshine Coast-Sydney (up 12.1%), Hamilton Island- Sydney (up 11.7%), Ayers Rock (Uluru)-Sydney (up 10.1%) and Ballina-Sydney (up 9.6%).
The losers (routes with traffic decreases in the year ending June 2016, compared with the year ending June 2015) included Brisbane-Moranbah (down 20.2%), Perth-Port Hedland (down 19.1%), Brisbane- Gladstone (down 16.2%), Hamilton Island-Melbourne (down 15.7%) and Karratha-Perth (down 15.4%).
For the year ending June 2016, Sydney remained Australia’s busiest domestic airport with 26.59 million passenger movements, followed by Melbourne with 24.48 million passenger movements and Brisbane with 17.01 million passenger movements.
Hobart, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne were the worst airports in terms of flight delays. Hobart was the least reliable for on-time departures for the second year running.
More than one-fifth (21.8%) of flights failed to depart Hobart on time in 2015/16. In the same period, less than 10% of outbound flights from Townsville Airport were delayed.
Research by Finder.com.au using BITRE data placed Austrlaian airports in the following order, in terms of departure reliability (best to worst): Townsville, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Cairns, Darwin, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Hobart.
Both of Australia’s busiest domestic airports, Sydney and Melbourne, shared higher rates (16.2%) of missed scheduled departures than most other airports in Australia.
Jetstar was the least reliable carrier, with more than one-fifth (21.8%) of passengers experiencing arrival delays in the year to June 2016. Virgin Australia was the most punctual, with 89.5% of arrivals defined as on-time.
Written by Peter Needham