Airline On Time Performance, 2020-21 Financial Year Report

Summary – 2020-21 Financial Year

For the year ended June 2021, on time performance over all routes operated by participating airlines (Jetstar, Qantas, QantasLink, Regional Express, Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines) averaged 86.1 per cent for on time arrivals and 85.6 per cent for on time departures. Cancellations represented 7.6 per cent of all scheduled flights. The equivalent figures for 2019-20 were 76.4 per cent for on time arrivals, 78.0 per cent for on time departures and 4.3 per cent for cancellations. COVID-19 related travel restrictions have severely impacted the number of flights operated and the cancellation rate since March 2020.

The 2020-21 on time arrivals figure was above the long term average performance for all routes of 82.3 per cent and the on time departures figure was also above the long term average of 83.6 per cent. The rate of cancellations was higher than the long term average of 1.9 per cent.

The Virgin Australia network (Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines combined operations) recorded 86.8 per cent for on time arrivals while the Qantas network (Qantas and QantasLink combined operations) recorded 85.5 per cent. Virgin Australia achieved the highest on time arrivals among the major domestic airlines at 87.2 per cent, followed by Qantas at 85.6 per cent and Jetstar at 85.2 per cent. Regional Express was the best performing regional airline for on time arrivals at 88.5 per cent, followed by QantasLink at 85.4 per cent and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines at 77.2 per cent.

The Qantas network recorded 86.2 per cent for on time departures and the Virgin Australia network recorded 83.9 per cent. Qantas achieved the highest level of on time departures among the major domestic airlines for 2020-21 at 87.2 per cent, followed by Virgin Australia at 84.2 per cent and Jetstar at 82.7 per cent. The regional airlines were led by Regional Express at 89.5 per cent, followed by QantasLink at 85.5 per cent and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines at 78.1 per cent.

Jetstar had the highest percentage of cancellations at 12.0 per cent during 2020-21, followed by Qantas at 10.0 per cent, Virgin Australia at 9.1 per cent, QantasLink at 4.5 per cent, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines at 3.2 per cent and Regional Express at 2.6 per cent.

Airlines’ on time performance varies across the routes they serve. Individual route data by specific airline for 59 routes are shown on pages 8-20.

Of the 39 routes which met the criteria for on time performance reporting for all 12 months in 2020-21, the Mount Isa-Brisbane route had the highest percentage of on time arrivals at 91.7 per cent and the Brisbane-Mount Isa route had the highest percentage of on time departures at 93.8 per cent. The Darwin-Brisbane route had the lowest percentage of on time arrivals at 65.0 per cent and the lowest percentage of on time departures at 60.8 per cent.

Of the 39 routes which met the criteria for on time performance reporting for all 12 months in 2020-21, cancellations were highest on the Melbourne-Sydney route at 25.1 percent, followed by the Sydney-Melbourne route at 25.0 per cent, the Brisbane-Melbourne route at 21.2 per cent, the Melbourne-Brisbane route at 20.9 per cent and the Perth-Melbourne route at 19.8 per cent.

Of the 32 airports with on time performance reporting for all 12 months in 2020-21, Gladstone Airport recorded the highest percentage of on time arrivals at 91.1 per cent and Wagga Wagga Airport recorded the highest percentage of on time departures at 90.6 per cent. Darwin Airport recorded the lowest percentage of on time arrivals at 79.5 per cent and the lowest percentage of on time departures at 64.5 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 - 2020-21
Reporting Airlines Sectors Scheduled Arrivals On Time % Departures On Time % Cancellations %
Jetstar 49 173 85.2 82.7 12.0
Qantas - all QF designated services 126 873 85.5 86.2 6.7
Regional Express 36 395 88.5 89.5 2.6
Virgin Australia - all VA designated services 55 786 86.8 83.9 8.9
All Airlines 268 227 86.1 85.6 7.6
Individual operating entities        
Qantas 51 573 85.6 87.2 10.0
QantasLink 75 300 85.4 85.5 4.5
Virgin Australia 53 247 87.2 84.2 9.1
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines 2 539 77.2 78.1 3.2

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

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

Figure 2. Total Industry Cancellations by month from June 2016

Figure 2. Total Industry Cancellations by month from June 2016