Jetstar admits ‘more to be done’ after damning performance report

Australians stranded in Bali after Jetstar cancellation

Jetstar has promised to do better after being singled out as Australia’s least punctual and most unreliable airline in a damning aviation report.

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics’s most recent aviation report found that the budget airline cancelled 7.1 per cent of flights during March – more than any of its rival carriers.

Just under 60 per of its flights during the month took off on time, while nearly 62 per cent landed on time. That was also the lowest among the six surveyed airlines.

“We know there’s more to be done to improve our punctuality and we continue to invest in new aircraft, recruit more staff in customer service, engineering and operational roles and upgrade our systems and processes to provide a more consistently reliable schedule,” a Jetstar spokesperson told Sky News Australia on Thursday.

Overall, the airlines in the BITRE report – Jetstar, Qantas, QantasLink, Rex Airlines, Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines – had an average cancellation rate of 3.6 per cent in March.

They averaged 71.0 per cent for on time arrivals and 71.4 per cent for on time departures.

Rex had the lowest cancellation rate, at 2.3 per cent. Qantas performed best for on-time departures and arrivals, at 75.7 per cent and 75.6 per cent respectively.

Source: Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics March 2023 aviation report.

Qantas’ budget arm has long been plagued by issues of reliability and punctuality. It reached a low point amid widespread airline chaos in July last year, when 8.8 per cent of its flights were cancelled, according to official figures. That was 37.5 per cent (or 2.4 percentage points) higher than the broader industry rate.

Jetstar’s performance in July 2022 as also behind many airlines overseas, with analytics firm OAG ranking Jetstar Australia 120th out of 130 airlines globally.

On Thursday, the airline defended the assistance it offered to travellers hit by delays, saying they were given a range of support.

“In the event of a disruption, we provide a range of support to customers including next available flights, refunds, airport refreshment vouchers, overnight accommodation as well as covering meals and other reasonable costs including transport to and from the airport and extended airport car parking,” the spokesperson added.

Jetstar said it would have invested in 18 Airbus A321neo aircrafts by the middle of 2024. Six were already flying on domestic and international routes, with 12 more on the way.

The BITRE report found regional routes had the best on-time performances in March.

“The Cairns-Townsville route had the highest percentage of both on time arrivals (92.8 per cent), and on time departures (92.1 per cent). The Sunshine Coast-Sydney route had the lowest percentage of on time arrivals (49.1 per cent), while the Hamilton Island-Sydney route had the lowest percentage of on time departures (50.6 per cent),” it said.

By contrast, the most cancellations were on routes between capital cities.

“Cancellations were highest on the Melbourne-Sydney route at 9.1 per cent followed by the Sydney-Melbourne route at 8.6 per cent, the Canberra-Sydney route at 7.7 per cent, the Newcastle-Brisbane route at 7.2 per cent and the Sydney-Canberra route at 7.2 per cent,” the report said.


Topics: Jetstar
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