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Virgin Australia, Regional Express top on-time honours for April

written by WOFA | May 27, 2019

A file image of Virgin Australia aircraft at Sydney Airport. (Rob Finlayson)
A file image of Virgin Australia aircraft at Sydney Airport. (Rob Finlayson)

Virgin Australia notched up its third consecutive month with the highest on-time arrival percentage of the major domestic airlines in April.

Figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) showed Virgin Australia had 83.7 per cent of its domestic flights arrive within 15 minutes of schedule, ahead of Qantas on 82.5 per cent, Jetstar’s 80.6 per cent and Tigerair Australia’s 71.3 per cent.

Among the regional airlines, Regional Express was the most punctual with on-time arrivals at 86.1 per cent of scheduled services, followed by QantasLink at 84.0 per cent and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines with 75.2 per cent.

Virgin Australia also came in at the head of the field of major airlines for the third month running for on-time departures, at 85.2 per cent, compared with 83.2 per cent for Qantas, 77.5 per cent for Jetstar and 70.3 per cent for Tigerair Australia.

For the airlines covered by the BITRE data, which accounted for 95 per cent of total regular public airline passengers, the average on-time rates in April were 82.6 per cent for arrivals and 82.9 per cent for departures.

These results were close to the long-run averages reported by BITRE of 82.5 per cent for on-time arrivals and 83.8 per cent for on-time departures.

Of the airports covered by the BITRE report, Port Lincoln Airport boasted the highest rate of on-time departures, at 93.4 per cent, followed by Emerald at 92.3 per cent, while Hobart’s 71.8 per cent was the lowest, just below Sunshine Coast’s 72.4 per cent.


The overall rate of cancellations in April was in line with the long-term average of 1.5 per cent, but there was significant variation among the players.

Tigerair Australia had the heftiest proportion of its scheduled services cancelled at 2.6 per cent. Virgin Australia Regional Airlines had the lowest cancellation rate of 0.3 per cent in April, a major turnaround from April 2018 when it was the worst performer with 3.0 per cent of services cancelled.

The Sydney-Melbourne route had the largest cancellation rate of 5.3 per cent, followed by the Melbourne-Sydney route at 5.1 per cent, meaning more than one in every 20 flights between Australia’s two largest cities failed to take off at all, let alone on time.

BITRE warns there is some variance between the airlines in terms of data collection, with Jetstar and Qantas jet aircraft using Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) to electronically measure performance, with other Qantas services and non-Qantas carriers collecting data manually from pilots, gate agents and/or ground crew.


Jetstar 80.6% (0.7)
Qantas 82.5% (-0.5)
QantasLink 84.0% (-4.3)
Regional Express 86.1% (4.0)
Tigerair Australia 71.3% (2.3)
Virgin Australia 83.7% (-1.5)
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines 75.2% (-4.9)

All Airlines 82.6% (-0.6)

Qantas network 83.3% (-2.5)
Virgin Australia Network 83.1% (-1.8)


Jetstar 77.5% (0.2)
Qantas 83.2% (1.4)
QantasLink 84.4% (-3.8)
Regional Express 88.0% (2.4)
Tigerair Australia 70.3% (1.1)
Virgin Australia 85.2% (-0.4)
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines 79.4% (-2.4)

All Airlines 82.9% (-0.2)

Qantas network 83.9% (-1.2)
Virgin Australia Network 84.8% (-0.6)


Jetstar 1.4% (0.4)
Qantas 2.3% (0.9)
QantasLink 1.5% (0.6)
Regional Express 0.8% (-0.2)
Tigerair Australia 2.6% (-0.1)
Virgin Australia 1.3% (0.4)
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines 0.3% (-2.7)

All Airlines 1.5% (0.3)

Qantas network 1.8 (0.7)
Virgin Australia Network 1.3 (0.3)

Source: BIRTRE
Figures in parentheses indicate percentage point change from previous month.


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