Airline On Time Performance, 2019 Calendar Year Report

Summary – 2019 Calendar Year

For the year ended December 2019, on time performance over all routes operated by participating airlines (Jetstar, Qantas, QantasLink, Regional Express, Tigerair Australia, Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines) averaged 78.4 per cent for on time arrivals and 79.9 per cent for on time departures. Cancellations represented 2.1 per cent of all scheduled flights. The equivalent figures for 2018 were 79.8 per cent for arrivals, 80.8 per cent for departures and 1.8 per cent for cancellations.

The 2019 on time arrivals figure was below the long term average performance for all routes of 82.2 per cent and the on time departures figure was also below the long term average of 83.5 per cent. The rate of cancellations was higher than the long term average of 1.5 per cent.

The Qantas network (Qantas and QantasLink combined operations) recorded 80.0 per cent for on time arrivals while the Virgin Australia network (Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines combined operations) recorded 78.7 per cent. Virgin Australia achieved the highest on time arrivals among the major domestic airlines at 78.9 per cent, followed by Qantas at 77.4 per cent, Jetstar at 74.5 per cent and Tigerair Australia at 67.2 per cent. QantasLink was the best performing regional airline for on time arrivals at 82.2 per cent, followed by Regional Express at 81.5 per cent and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines at 76.8 per cent.

The Qantas network recorded 81.3 per cent for on time departures and the Virgin Australia network also recorded 81.3 per cent. Virgin Australia achieved the highest level of on time departures for 2019 at 81.3 per cent, followed by Qantas at 79.5 per cent, Jetstar at 72.9 per cent and Tigerair Australia at 68.8 per cent. The regional airlines were led by Regional Express at 84.8 per cent, followed by QantasLink at 82.9 per cent and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines at 81.0 per cent.

Tigerair Australia had the highest percentage of cancellations at 3.6 per cent during 2019, followed by Qantas at 2.8 per cent, Jetstar at 2.5 per cent, QantasLink and Virgin Australia both at 1.8 per cent, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines at 1.3 per cent and Regional Express at 1.0 per cent.

Airlines' on time performance varies across the routes they serve. Individual route data by specific airline for 65 routes are shown on pages 9–22.

Of the 64 routes which met the criteria for on time performance reporting for all 12 months in 2019, the Cairns-Townsville route had the highest percentage of on time arrivals at 91.8 per cent and the Adelaide-Port Lincoln route had the highest percentage of on time departures at 92.7 per cent. The Hobart-Melbourne route had the lowest percentage of on time arrivals at 63.1 per cent and the Townsville-Sydney route had the lowest percentage of on time departures at 60.0 per cent. 

Cancellations were highest on the Melbourne-Sydney and Sydney-Melbourne routes at 6.8 per cent, followed by the Brisbane-Sydney route at 3.6 per cent, the Sydney-Brisbane route at 3.5 per cent, the Canberra-Sydney route at 3.4 per cent and the Karratha-Perth route at 3.2 per cent.

Port Lincoln Airport recorded the highest percentage of on time arrivals at 91.0 per cent and the highest percentage of on time departures at 90.8 per cent. Melbourne Airport recorded the lowest percentage of on time arrivals at 72.0 per cent and Ayers Rock Airport recorded the lowest percentage of on time departures at 61.7 per cent. These figures only refer to reported routes and do not cover all flights at at these airports.

Table 1: Total Industry On Time Performance - 2019
Reporting Airlines Sectors Scheduled Arrivals On Time % Departures On Time % Cancellations %
Jetstar 86 489 74.5 72.9 2.5
Qantas - all QF designated services 230 754 80.0 81.3 2.3
Regional Express 72 575 81.5 84.8 1.0
Tigerair Australia 28 172 67.2 68.8 3.6
Virgin Australia - all VA designated services 148 899 78.7 81.3 1.7
All Airlines 566 889 78.4   79.9 2.1
Individual operating entities        
Qantas 108 313 77.4 79.5 2.8
QantasLink 122 441 82.2 82.9 1.8
Virgin Australia 139 407 78.9 81.3 1.8
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines 9 492 76.8 81.0 1.3

Figure 1. Total Industry Arrivals and Departures On Time by month from December 2014

Figure 1. Total Industry Arrivals and Departures On Time by month from December 2014

Figure 2. Total Industry Cancellations by month from December 2014

Figure 2. Total Industry Cancellations by month from December 2014