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Cancellations up and punctuality down – for a reason

April 27, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Domestic airline cancellations shot up and punctuality nosedived in March – and there’s good reason for a lot of it.

The reason is weather – or more specifically, Cyclone Debbie and the wind, rain and flooding that accompanied it. Cancellations more than doubled when compared with the same month last year.

Cancellations were highest on the Sydney-Hamilton Island route at 21.3%, followed by the Brisbane-Proserpine route at 20.3%, the Brisbane-Hamilton Island and Proserpine‑Brisbane routes at 20%, the Hamilton Island-Brisbane route at 19.7% and the Hamilton Island-Sydney route at 19.2%. Cyclone Debbie hit this region of Queensland in late March 2017.

QantasLink recorded the highest percentage of cancellations (4.2%) during the month, followed by Virgin Australia (4.1%), Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (3.6%), Jetstar (2.7%), Tigerair Australia (2.4%), Regional Express (2.0%) and Qantas (1.8%).http://www.itcma.com/

The rate of cancellations was higher than the long-term average of 1.4%.

For March 2017, on-time performance over all routes operated by Jetstar, Qantas, QantasLink, Regional Express, Tigerair Australia, Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines averaged 76.7% for on-time arrivals and 78.3% for on-time departures.  Cancellations represented 3.1% of all scheduled flights.  The equivalent figures for March 2016 were 85.3% for on-time arrivals, 86.3% for on-time departures and 1.3% for cancellations.

This month’s on-time arrivals figure was significantly lower than the long-term average performance for all routes (82.7%) and the on-time departures figure was also lower than the long-term average (84.1%), according to data collated by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).

Qantas achieved the highest on-time arrivals among the major domestic airlines at 81.7% followed by Virgin Australia at 78.9%, Jetstar at 69.9% and Tigerair Australia at 66.2%.

Of the regional airlines, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines recorded 82.6% for on-time arrivals, followed by QantasLink at 79% and Regional Express at 72.1%. The Qantas network (Qantas and QantasLink combined operations) recorded 80.3% for on-time arrivals while the Virgin Australia network (Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines combined operations) recorded 79.1%.

Qantas also achieved the highest level of on-time departures for March 2017 at 83.7%, followed by Virgin Australia at 81%, Jetstar at 67.7% and Tigerair Australia at 67%.  Of the regional airlines, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines recorded 84.3%, followed by QantasLink at 80.2% and Regional Express at 76.8%. The Qantas network recorded 81.8% for on-time departures while the Virgin Australia network recorded 81.2%.

Of the 66 routes which met the criteria for on-time performance reporting in March 2017, the Adelaide-Alice Springs route had the highest percentage of on-time arrivals (95.6%) and the Darwin-Alice Springs route had the highest percentage of on-time departures (95.4%). The Dubbo‑Sydney route had the lowest percentage of on-time arrivals (53%) and the Sunshine Coast-Melbourne route had the lowest percentage of on-time departures (50.9%).

Alice Springs Airport recorded the highest percentage of on-time arrivals (95.5%) and Port Lincoln Airport recorded the highest percentage of on-time departures (92.3%). Armidale Airport recorded the lowest percentage of on-time arrivals (57.5%) and Ballina Airport recorded the lowest percentage of on-time departures (54.3%). These figures only refer to reported routes and do not cover all flights at these airports.

Edited by Peter Needham

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