Australian airlines are getting much better at sticking to their schedules

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

If you’re a frequent flyer in Australia and think that arrival and departure delays are reducing, you’re right.

According to latest figures released by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), 86.3% of domestic flights departed on time in March, an improvement on the long-term average of 84.1%.

At the other end of the journey, 85.3% of flights arrived on time, again ahead of the long-run average of 82.7%.

Over the month, 1.3% of flights were cancelled, marginally below the historic norm of 1.4%.

According to the BITRE, among the major domestic airlines Virgin Australia achieved the highest level of on time departures at 89.5%, followed by Qantas at 89.0%, Tigerair Australia at 82.1% and Jetstar at 76.9%.

Virgin also took out top spot for arrivals with an on time performance of 88.2%, narrowly edging out Qantas at 89.0%. Tigerair Australia and Jetstar’s figures came in at 82.1% and 76.9% respectively.

The chart below, supplied by the BITRE, shows the on time departures and arrivals figures, along with cancellations, for the industry as a whole over the past three years.


And here are the on time arrivals performance by carrier, including regional airlines.


And finally, the figures for on time departures.


For the many millions of passengers who travel between Sydney and Melbourne — the busiest domestic route in the country — flights between Melbourne to Sydney recorded an on time performance for arrivals and departures in March of 79.9% and 83.1% respectively.

Travelling the other way, 77.8% of flights from Sydney to Melbourne took off on time while 80.9% arrived on schedule.

Flights operated by Virgin Australia between the two airports had the best arrival and departure on time performance in March, both travelling from Melbourne and Sydney and heading in the opposite direction.