More than nine in 10 Virgin Australia Regional Airlines’ (VARA) flights landed or took off on time in November, allowing the carrier to finish well ahead of the rest in the punctuality stakes for the month.
Figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) showed VARA achieved a 90.1 per cent on-time arrivals rate in November, up 4.9 percentage points from the previous month.
Meanwhile, VARA also led the pack for on-time departures, with 91.2 per cent of its services pushing back from the gate within 15 minted of schedule.
Fellow regional carrier Rex was next best for arrivals and departures at 84.4 per cent and 86.6 per cent, respectively.
The battle for passengers has led to a strong emphasis on punctuality for airlines in an effort to attract and retain customers, particularly those in the lucrative corporate and government travel sector.
Among the low-cost carriers Qantas’s Jetstar eclipsed its Virgin-owned rival Tigerair Australia in on-time arrivals for the first time since May 2015. In November, Jetstar had 72.4 per cent of its flights arrive within 15 minutes of schedule, compared with Tigerair’s 71.4 per cent.
The statistics show Tigerair suffered a 7.5 percentage point drop in on-time arrivals, while its on-time departures rate slipped by an even larger 9.3 percentage points to 72.2 per cent. However, Tigerair still managed to finish ahead of Jetstar (69.5 per cent) for departures.
The monthly BITRE report also noted Rex had the lowest number of cancellations in the month at 0.6 per cent, followed by Qantas at 1.1 per cent.
At the other end of the scale, QantasLink (2.8 per cent) had the highest percentage of cancellations.
The figures showed three routes had perfect records for punctuality in November.
All 63 flights from Darwin to Alice Springs in November arrived within 15 minutes of schedule, while the Hamilton Island-Melbourne and Darwin-Alice Springs routes had an unblemished record for on-time departures.
On-time arrivals for November (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Virgin Australia Regional 90.1 (+4.9)
Rex 84.4% (+0.4)
Virgin 83.4% (-0.9)
QantasLink 82.7% (-1.8)
Qantas 80.9% (-2.3)
Jetstar 72.4% (-0.7)
Tigerair 71.4 78.9% (-7.5)
Virgin network 83.7% (-0.7)
Qantas network 81.8% (-2.1)
On-time departures for November (figure in brackets indicates percentage point change from previous month)
Virgin Australia Regional 91.2% (+5.5)
Rex 86.6% (-0.3)
Virgin 86.1% (-1.2)
Qantas 84.1% (-0.5)
QantasLink 83.3% (-2.3)
Tigerair 72.2% (-9.3)
Jetstar 69.5% (0)
Virgin network 86.3% (-0.9)
Qantas network 83.7% (-1.4)