Domestic on time performance
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The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) monitors the punctuality and reliability of major domestic airlines operating between Australian airports. The purpose of this is to allow for evaluation of overall industry and individual airline performance, so that consumers of air travel can make informed decisions.
The following domestic airlines currently report this information monthly to the BITRE: Jetstar, Qantas, QantasLink, Regional Express, Tigerair Australia, Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines. Data has been gathered since November 2003, although some airlines commenced reporting at a later date, including Jetstar which first reported in May 2004, MacAir in July 2005, Tigerair Australia in April 2008 and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines in May 2013. MacAir ceased operations in February 2009 and data was not received for December 2008 onwards. Virgin Blue was rebranded as Virgin Australia in May 2011 and Tiger Airways was rebranded as Tigerair Australia in July 2013 and time series data in Microsoft Excel spread sheet format on the BITRE website have been revised to reflect these changes. Services operated by Skywest on behalf of Virgin Australia using ATR/F100 aircraft commenced in November 2011 and were shown separately as Virgin Australia - ATR/F100 Operations. Virgin Australia Regional Airlines commenced operations in May 2013. It was formed after the acquisition of Skywest by Virgin Australia and represented a combination of operations previously reported under Skywest and Virgin Australia - ATR/F100 Operations. In January 2016, Virgin Australia transferred their ATR fleet from Virgin Australia Regional Airlines to Virgin Australia.
On time performance is reported for Australian domestic routes for which the passenger load averaged 8 000 or more passengers per month over the previous six months and where two or more airlines operated in competition on those routes. There were 66 routes that met this definition in May 2016. Over time, routes which meet these criteria change as airline networks and traffic levels vary.
Participating airlines also report their overall monthly network performance figures. Total industry figures encompass all services operated by reporting airlines only. These airlines collectively carried over 95 per cent of total domestic passengers (regular public transport only) in 2015.
A flight arrival is counted as "on time" if it arrived at the gate before 15 minutes after 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 before 15 minutes after 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 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. Regional Express, Tigerair, Virgin Australia, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines and the Qantas non-jet fleet record on time performance manually using records from pilots, gate agents and/or ground crews.
Reports are published monthly on the BITRE web site. After collection of initial data, aggregate reports are subject to internal audit by participating airlines prior to publication. The target date for publication is 15 working days after of the end of the reporting period.