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The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics

Domestic on time performance

Background

Introduction

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has established an agreement with major Australian airlines to report on time performance statistics. Data is available from November 2003. The purpose of collecting this information is to monitor overall industry and individual airline performance on punctuality and to allow consumers of air travel to make informed decisions when planning air travel.

Coverage

Data has been provided by the major Australian domestic airlines, Qantas, QantasLink, Regional Express, Skywest Airlines and Virgin Blue, from November 2003, with Jetstar commencing from May 2004. Macair which commenced reporting in July 2005, only provided data on their total network. MacAir Ceased operations in February 2009 and data was not received for December 2008 or January 2009. Tiger Airways is the latest addition, commencing reporting in April 2008.

On time performance is reported for all routes which meet the definition applied for publishing passenger data on those routes, that is, for all routes flown by two or more airlines where the passenger load averages over 8000 passengers per month. There are currently 49 routes which meet this definition, however, over time routes which meet this definition may change as airline networks and traffic levels vary.

Airlines also report overall monthly network performance. Total industry figures refer to services operated by reporting airlines only. These airlines collectively carried over 95 per cent of total domestic passengers (regular public transport only) in 2007.

Definitions

A flight arrival is counted as "on time" if it arrived at the gate within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time shown in the carriers' schedule. Neither diverted nor cancelled flights count as on time. Similarly, a flight departure is counted as "on time" if it departs the gate within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time shown in the carriers' schedule.

A flight is regarded as a cancellation if it is cancelled or rescheduled less than 7 days prior to its scheduled departure time.

On time performance is measured as the number of flights operating on time as a percentage of the number of flights operated on any particular sector. Cancellations are measured as the number of flights cancelled within 7 days of scheduled departure as a percentage of the number of flights scheduled for that particular sector.

The method of capturing on time performance varies between airlines utilising different recording systems. Jetstar and Qantas jet aircraft use Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) to electronically measure on time performance. Virgin Blue, Regional Express, Skywest, Macair and the Qantas non-jet fleet record on time performance manually using records from pilots, gate agents and/or ground crews.

Reports

Reports are published monthly on the BITRE web site. After collection of initial data, aggregate reports will be subject to internal audit by participating airlines prior to publication. Target date for publication is within 6 weeks of the end of the reporting period. The latest report includes comparable industry-wide data for previous months.