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Thursday 21 December 2023

Transport minister issues warning to Australia's major airlines

Australian transport minister Catherine King has slammed the on-time failures of the country's two biggest airlines: Qantas and Virgin Australia.

King said the latest BITRE On Time Performance (OTP) report, for November, confirmed what many Australians would expect "with the lowest average on time statistics by airlines in over a year".

Small fry Bonza and Rex led the way for the month with on time performances of 73.9% and 70.5% respectively, while Virgin Australia was the worst performer for the month, with only 54.3% of its flights arriving on time.

Qantas saw 66.3% of its flights arrive on schedule.

"Across all airlines, last month’s average on time arrivals figure of 64.1% was significantly lower than the long-term average performance of 81.1%," King said in a statement.

The on time departures figure of 65.9% was also significantly lower than the long-term average of 82.3%.

Cancellations were at 3.7% for the month, compared with the long-term average of 2.2%.

"Given these very disappointing results, it is no wonder that so many Australians remain fed up with our major airlines," King said.

"Like all Australians, the Government wants an aviation sector that supports our nation’s way of life and this means services need to be reliable, competitive and affordable.

"That's why we have committed to delivering an Aviation White Paper, expected to be released in mid-2024, to set the scene for the next generation of growth and development across the aviation sector.

"This will include consideration of how we can better protect the interests of consumers, whether that be a stronger ombudsman model or other measures implemented in overseas jurisdictions.

"As Australians gear up to travel for Christmas and the holidays, the Government will be keeping a close eye on the performance of all our major airlines."

Image: Louis Loizou, 

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