Airline On Time Performance, 2016–17 Financial Year Report

Summary 2016-17 Financial Year

For the year ended June 2017, on time performance over all routes operated by participating airlines (Jetstar, Qantas, QantasLink, Regional Express, Tigerair Australia, Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines) averaged 83.0 per cent for on time arrivals and 83.8 per cent for on time departures.  Cancellations represented 1.8 per cent of all scheduled flights.  The equivalent figures for 2015-16 were 86.1 per cent for arrivals, 86.7 per cent for departures and 1.6 per cent for cancellations.

The 2016-17 on time arrivals figure was slightly above the long term average performance for all routes of 82.8 per cent and the on time departures figure was below the long term average of 84.2 per cent. The rate of cancellations was higher than the long term average of 1.4 per cent.

Qantas achieved the highest on time arrivals among the major domestic airlines at 86.0 per cent, followed by Virgin Australia at 85.1 per cent, Tigerair Australia at 76.0 per cent and Jetstar at 75.7 per cent. Virgin Australia Regional Airlines was the best performing regional airline for on time arrivals at 85.2 per cent, followed by QantasLink at 84.5 per cent and Regional Express at 82.8 per cent. The Qantas network (Qantas and QantasLink combined operations) recorded 85.2 per cent for on time arrivals while the Virgin Australia network (Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines combined operations) recorded 85.1 per cent.

Qantas also achieved the highest level of on time departures for 2016-17 at 87.6 per cent, followed by Virgin Australia at 86.8 per cent, Tigerair Australia at 76.8 per cent and Jetstar at 72.6 per cent. The regional airlines were led by Virgin Australia Regional Airlines at 87.1 per cent, followed by Regional Express at 85.8 per cent and QantasLink at 85.1 per cent. The Qantas network recorded 86.3 per cent for on time departures while the Virgin Australia network recorded 86.8 per cent.

QantasLink had the highest percentage of cancellations (2.6 per cent) during 2016-17, followed by Virgin Australia (2.2 per cent), Jetstar (1.8 per cent), Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (1.5 per cent), Tigerair Australia (1.3 per cent), Qantas (1.2 per cent) and Regional Express (0.8 per cent).

Airlines’ on time performance varies across the routes they serve. Individual route data by specific airline for 66 routes are shown on pages 9-21.

Of the 65 routes which met the criteria for on time performance reporting for all 12 months in 2016-17, the Cairns-Townsville route had the highest percentage of on time arrivals (94.3 per cent) and the Darwin-Alice Springs route had the highest percentage of on time departures (95.2 per cent). The Launceston-Sydney route had the lowest percentage of on time arrivals (69.7 per cent) and the Sunshine Coast-Melbourne route had the lowest percentage of on time departures (64.4 per cent). 

Cancellations were highest on the Sydney-Hamilton Island route at 5.0 per cent, followed by the Hamilton Island-Sydney route at 4.8 per cent, the Canberra-Sydney and Moranbah‑Brisbane routes at 4.6 per cent, the Sydney-Canberra route at 4.2 per cent and the Sydney-Melbourne, Melbourne-Sydney, Brisbane-Moranbah and Rockhampton-Brisbane routes at 4.1 per cent.

Alice Springs Airport and Newman Airport recorded the highest percentage of on time arrivals (both at 92.4 per cent) and Newman Airport recorded the highest percentage of on time departures (92.6 per cent). Armidale Airport recorded the lowest percentage of on time arrivals (71.9 per cent) and Sunshine Coast Airport recorded the lowest percentage of on time departures (66.7 per cent). These figures only refer to reported routes and do not cover all flights at these airports.

Table 1. Total Industry On Time Performance for the year ended 30 June 2017
 SectorsArrivals On TimeDepartures On TimeCancellations
ScheduledFlownNo.%No.%No.%
Jetstar 86744 85225 64496 75.7 61899 72.6 1519 1.8
Qantas 107981 106705 91807 86.0 93439 87.6 1276 1.2
QantasLink 124706 121438 102586 84.5 103338 85.1 3268 2.6
Regional Express 75672 75051 62106 82.8 64414 85.8 621 0.8
Tigerair 27539 27180 20664 76.0 20887 76.8 359 1.3
Virgin Australia 143943 140847 119907 85.1 122232 86.8 3096 2.2
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines 8155 8033 6843 85.2 6994 87.1 122 1.5
All Airlines 574740 564479 468409 83.0 473203 83.8 10261 1.8
Qantas - all QF designated services 232687 228143 194393 85.2 196777 86.3 4544 2.0
Virgin Australia - all VA designated services 152098 148880 126750 85.1 129226 86.8 3218 2.1

Figure 1. Total Industry Arrivals and Departures On Time by month from June 2012

Figure 1. Total Industry Arrivals and Departures On Time by month from December-2007

Figure 2. Total Industry Cancellations by month from June 2012

Figure 2. Total Industry Cancellations by month from December-2007