Airline On Time Performance, 2021 Calendar Year Report

Summary – 2021 Calendar Year

For the year ended December 2021, on time performance over all routes operated by participating airlines (Jetstar, Qantas, QantasLink, Rex Airlines, Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines) averaged 86.2 per cent for on time arrivals and 85.9 per cent for on time departures. The cancellation rate for the year was 10.6 per cent. The equivalent figures for 2020 were 81.9 per cent for on time arrivals, 82.5 per cent for on time departures and 7.2 per cent for cancellations.

This year’s on time arrivals figure was higher than the long term average performance for all routes (82.3 per cent) and the on time departures figure was also higher than the long term average (83.6 per cent). The rate of cancellations was higher than the long term average of 2.0 per cent.

The Virgin Australia network (Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines combined operations) recorded 86.5 per cent for on time arrivals while the Qantas network (Qantas and QantasLink combined operations) recorded 86.0 per cent. Qantas achieved the highest on time arrivals among the major domestic airlines at 87.0 per cent followed by Virgin Australia at 86.8 per cent and Jetstar at 84.6 per cent. Of the regional airlines, Rex Airlines recorded 88.0 per cent for on time arrivals, followed by QantasLink at 85.4 per cent and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines at 81.2 per cent.

The Qantas network recorded 86.9 per cent for on time departures while the Virgin Australia network recorded 84.2 per cent. Qantas achieved the highest level of on time departures among the major domestic airlines for 2021 at 88.8 per cent, followed by Virgin Australia at 84.4 per cent and Jetstar at 82.4 per cent. Of the regional airlines, Rex Airlines recorded 89.2 per cent for on time departures, followed by QantasLink at 85.7 per cent and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines at 80.9 per cent.

Jetstar recorded the highest percentage of cancellations (at 16.9 per cent) during the year, followed by Qantas (at 12.5 per cent), Virgin Australia (at 12.1 per cent), QantasLink (at 8.1 per cent), Rex Airlines (at 3.8 per cent) and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (at 3.3 per cent).

Airlines’ on time performance varies across the routes they serve. Individual route data by specific airline for 58 routes are shown on pages 8-20.

Of the 47 routes which met the criteria for on time performance reporting for all 12 months in 2021, the Emerald-Brisbane route had the highest percentage of on time arrivals (93.2 per cent) and the Brisbane-Mount Isa route had the highest percentage of on time departures (94.9 per cent). The Perth Melbourne route had the lowest percentage of on time arrivals (71.3 per cent) and the Darwin-Brisbane route had the lowest percentage of on time departures (68.1 per cent). 

Cancellations were highest on the Brisbane-Melbourne route at 26.8 per cent, followed by the Melbourne-Brisbane route at 26.6 per cent, the Melbourne-Perth route at 25.1 per cent, the Perth-Melbourne route at 25.0 per cent and the Sydney-Melbourne and Melbourne-Sydney routes at 23.5 per cent. COVID-¬19 related travel restrictions and other requirements continued to impact the cancellation rate.

Of the airports with on time performance reporting for all 12 months in 2021, Emerald Airport recorded the highest percentage of on time arrivals (92.9 per cent) and the highest percentage of on time departures (92.6 per cent). Armidale Airport recorded the lowest percentage of on time arrivals (79.8 per cent) and Darwin Airport and Alice Springs Airport recorded the lowest percentage of on time departures (both at 72.7 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 - 2021
Reporting Airlines Sectors Scheduled Arrivals On Time % Departures On Time % Cancellations %
Jetstar 54 237 84.6 82.4 16.9
Qantas - all QF designated services 147 680 86.0 86.9 9.8
Regional Express 42 853 88.0 89.2 3.8
Virgin Australia - all VA designated services 72 482 86.5 84.2 11.6
All Airlines 317 252 86.2 85.9 10.6
Individual operating entities        
Qantas 59 309 87.0 88.8 12.5
QantasLink 88 371 85.4 85.7 8.1
Virgin Australia 68 357 86.8 84.4 12.1
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines 4 125 81.2 80.9 3.3

Figure 1. Total Industry Arrivals and Departures On Time by month from December 2016

Figure 1. Total Industry Arrivals and Departures On Time by month from December 2016

Figure 2. Total Industry Cancellations by month from December 2016

Figure 2. Total Industry Cancellations by month from December 2016