Qantas wins for on-time flights but QantasLink tops in cancellations

By David Flynn, August 18 2014
Qantas wins for on-time flights but QantasLink tops in cancellations

Qantas has pipped Virgin Australia as Australia's most on-time airline but its regional arm QantasLink now leads low-cost carrier Tiger Airways for the highest number of cancellations.

Data from the federal government's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) for the 2013-2014 year marks the fifth consecutive year that Qantas has bested Virgin Australia.

Here's a quick breakdown of the BITRE numbers – click on the image below for a full-size view of the table.

Note that BITRE allows departures and arrivals to count as "on time" if they leave or reach the gate within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, while "a flight removed from service within 7 days of scheduled departure is regarded as a cancellation."

Click here to download the complete BITRE report [430KB PDF] – or if you want to slice and dice the data for yourself, it's also available as an Excel spreadsheet [164KB].

Qantas vs Virgin Australia

The Flying Kangaroo chalked up 87.5 percent of flights departing on time against Virgin's 83.8 percent, while the more crucial indicator of on-time arrivals sat at 86.4 percent for Qantas compared to 81.7 percent for Virgin.

Flight cancellations for Qantas and Virgin were 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Qantas was quick off the mark to trumpet the good numbers, with Qantas Domestic CEO Lyell Strambi saying "we celebrate results like this not because it looks great on paper and we’re ticking boxes but because it means we’re delivering a premium reliable service for our customers."

“A record like this comes from the efforts of so many people right around Qantas from baggage handlers, catering, engineers, pilots, cabin crew and more. It is their determination to deliver a service customers can rely on that makes Qantas the number one choice.”

Virgin Australia's regional arm pulled ahead of QantasLink, however, with on-time averages (based on both departures and arrivals) at 83.55 percent over QantasLink's 80.5 percent.

QantasLink fared worst in on-time arrivals at 78.7 percent, and a 2.5 percent cancellation rate against Virgin's 1.3 percent.

That said, REX continues to be the star of the regional show with on-time averages at 87.2 percent and a mere 0.5 percent of flights cancelled.

Jetstar vs Tigerair

In low-cost land, Jetstar scored a solid win over Tigerair. The Qantas offshoot racked up an on-time average of 79.15 percent with a 1.9 percent cancellation rate, compared to Tiger's 73.1 percent for on-time averages and 2.2 percent for cancellations.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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