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The most reliable and punctual airline in Australia might surprise you

When it comes to passenger pain points, delayed or cancelled flights take the cake. Among Australia’s main domestic airlines, there was one carrier that managed to take the crown for on-time performance in December 2023. Take a bow, Rex.

When it comes to passenger pain points, delayed or cancelled flights take the cake. Among Australia’s main domestic airlines, there was one carrier that managed to take the crown for on-time performance in December 2023. Take a bow, Rex.

The Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) monthly on-time performance report showed Rex cancelled less than one per cent (0.6%) of 5,500 scheduled flights for the month.

That’s compared with Qantas Group (Qantas and QantasLink combined) with a 3.7 per cancellation rate, Jetstar at 5.5 per cent and Virgin Australia with 7.5 per cent cancellation of scheduled flights.

When it comes to on-time performance, Rex is Australia's most reliable and punctual airline.

For on-time arrivals, the regional airline also led the pack at 70.6 per cent punctuality followed by Qantas (67.8%), Jetstar (63%) and VA trailing at 54 per cent.

For on-time departures in December, Rex achieved 76 per cent of scheduled take-off times followed by Qantas (69.5%), Jetstar (62.1%) and Virgin Australia (54%).

Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp said the figures speak for themselves.

“To maintain such high-reliability rates is no mean feat, especially in the continued challenging environment still plaguing the aviation industry throughout 2023,” he said.

Qantas

For the major carriers, Qantas was again the most punctual major domestic airline during a very busy December as the industry dealt with storms, air traffic control staffing shortages and peak holiday demand. 

Qantas departed on time 69.5 per cent of the time in December 2023, racking up its 16th consecutive month of leading on-time performance – albeit with room for improvement.

Overall in 2023, Qantas reported a 74.1 per cent on-time departure performance (up 5% year-on-year) and cancelled 3.5 per cent of flights, compared to five per cent in 2022.

More than 75 per cent of Qantas flights have departed on time so far in January.

Read the full report here.

Find out which carriers globally were the most punctual in 2023 here.