IN BRIEF | Virgin Australia's punctuality dipped slightly in October, according to government data, but the airline retains a solid 81.9% rating for average on-time performance.
However, in an extraordinary result, Virgin was pipped by none other than Tiger Airways which managed to keep to its schedule 83.4% of the time and suffered not a single cancellation – due no doubt to the airline running less than half it usual number of services since returning to Aussie skies in August following a six-week suspension due to safety concerns.
As expected, the impact of Qantas' industrial woes – a month of strike-led delays and cancellations which ended in a dramatic shutdown of the entire airline – was reflected in a slump to an on-time rating of 76.7%, down from 84% in the pre-strike days, as measured by the Federal Government's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).
(Note that according to the number-crunchers at BITRE, flights are counted as "on time" if they arrive or depart from the gate within 15 minutes of their scheduled time.)
Even without widespread strikes to fall back upon, Jetstar trailed Qantas at 76.2%.
Skywest soared above Australia's regional airlines with 85.3% on-time performance, followed by Regional Express at 83.2% and QantasLink at an even 78%.
If you're keen to slice and dice the numbers for yourself, download the October 2011 BITRE On-Time Performance report (it's a 600Kb PDF).