Bonza, Jetstar, outperform rivals in on-time performance, cancellations

Australian budget airlines have come out on top when it comes to on-time performance and cancellation rates for the month of January 2024.

The latest figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE), released on Thursday, show among the major domestic airlines, Bonza recorded the best on-time arrivals performance in the country, with 78.4 per cent of flights arriving on time.

This is based on 832 flights.

Bonza has been top of on-time arrivals since August 2023 for five of the last six months, except for December following the troubled launch of its Gold Coast base which sent it to the bottom of the on-time performance table for that month.

Bonza CEO Tim Jordan said the on-time performance issues were a result of the “well-publicised delays” in obtaining regulatory approval for wet-leased Flair aircraft to operate out of the Gold Coast.

The delays forced the low-cost carrier to cancel all flights out of its third base until CASA gave the green light on December 19.

Meanwhile, for the third month in a row, Jetstar outperformed its nearest competitor, Virgin Australia, at 71.5 per cent and 65.4 per cent, respectively.

The budget airline’s figures were based on 8,824 flights, while Virgin’s were on 11,332.

Qantas recorded 76.6 per cent in on-time performance for the month based on 17,917 flights, while Rex was slightly higher at 77.3 per cent (5,192 flights) and Skytrans at 65.4 per cent (312 flights).

When it came to on-time departures, this time Virgin only just beat Jetstar at 69.4 per cent compared to 69 per cent. Rex dominated at 80.9 per cent, followed by Bonza at 78 per cent, Qantas at 77.8 per cent and Skytrans at 63.8 per cent.

Cancellation rates showed Virgin to have the most out of the major airlines at 5.3 per cent, followed by Bonza at 3.3 per cent, Qantas at 2.5 per cent and Jetstar coming out on top with the least cancelled flights at 2.4 per cent.

Bonza’s boss said being top of on-time arrivals for five of the past six months comes from “a lot of hard work and focus” from the team and its operational partners.

He said the figures were a positive step in the right direction but vowed the airline was still striving for near perfect performance.

“Our team of legends are working very hard to ensure we provide customers with affordable and reliable services and these latest figures are testament to that,” Mr Jordan said in a statement on Thursday.

“We firmly believe that getting a low fare should not mean trading off either reliability or a great quality on-board product.

“Being a young airline, we certainly have more to learn, but we know that on-time performance is critical to every customer whether travelling to see friends and family, heading off on holiday or going to a meeting.”

He noted the airline has “learnt and vastly improved” from its December 2023 cancellations and on-time performance.

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