Select Page

QANTAS: New boarding by groups to solve on time performance?

QANTAS: New boarding by groups to solve on time performance?

Qantas is trialling a new group boarding procedure for selected flights out of Brisbane starting Monday 24 July. It sure needs to do something given its appalling on-time performance during June this year according to the Australian Governments Transport research body. Qantas has performed badly compared to its pre-pandemic statistics, but has done well compared to some other airlines.

The Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) reports monthly on airline on-time departure and arrival and cancellations statistics. Its latest report covers June 2023 and covers the following airlines Jetstar, Qantas, QantasLink, Rex Airlines, Skytrans, Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines. Here is there combined performance for the month:

  • on-time arrivals =69.0% [63% June 2022]
  • on-time departures = 70.3% [61.9% June 2022]
  • cancellation rate = 3.6% [5.8% June 2022]

OK, the trend is good. Performance is getting better. That is until you look at the long-term averages – as BITRE does.

  • on-time arrivals = 81.4% [69% June 2023]
  • on-time departures = 82.5% [70.3% June 2023]
  • cancellations rate = 2.1% [3.6% June 2023]

This is really bad, and demonstrates how in efficient airports and airlines since the pandemic compared to what they were pre-pandemic.

airplanes parked at an airport
Virgin Australia aircraft at Melbourne Airport [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

By Airline

Let’s look at the performance of Qantas compared to all airlines pre-pandemic.

  • on-time arrivals = 70.7% [81.4% airline average pre-pandemic]
  • on-time departures = 71.4% [82.5% airline average pre-pandemic]
  • cancellations rate = 3.7% [2.1% airline average pre-pandemic]

So, Qantas has a good 10 percentage points to catch up on between its June 2023 on-time departures performance at 71.4% and the industries long term average of 81.4%.

And Qantas is not the worst. I’ve highlighted the best (bold black) and worst (bold itaics) in the table below. Virgin and Jetstar both score worst in a few catagories

Reporting AirlinesSectors ScheduledArrivals On Time %Departures On Time %Cancellations %
Qantas 20,19370.771.43.7
Rex Airlines5,98672.375.62.2
Virgin Australia 11,80765.067.64.2
All Airlines44,79069.070.33.6
Data taken from BITRE charts [BITRE]

On Time performance differs markedly depending on which route and airport

Out of 61 routes that BITRE uses to base its statistics, the Cairns-Townsville route had the highest percentage of on time arrivals (93.2 %) and departures (92.6 per cent). The Melbourne-Darwin route had the lowest percentage of on time arrivals (25.8 %). Darwin-Melbourne had the lowest percentage of on time departures (24.7 %).

The worst performing route for cancellations was the Canberra-Sydney route at 9.6 % followed by the Sydney-Canberra route (9.2 %). Melbourne-Sydney scored 8.9 % and Sydney-Melbourne was 8.4 %.

the tail of an airplane with a star on it

2PAXfly Takeout

Last week, I reported that Qantas was about to start a trial of boarding by groups. It looks like this is also an attempt to improve its woeful (according to the AFR) on time performance.

Over the last two months, I have travelled inter European flights on British Airways and Iberian metal. Both airlines use the group method, which they fairly strictly enforce. In my experience it works best at airports where there are security checks to enter the gate, so the majority of passengers have already been ‘herded’.

Although my initial reaction to the discipline of group boarding is to rebel, I think this is a good innovation, or at least worth a trial. Just like the previous method of dividing priority and general boarding, it will only work if the boarding group divisions are enforced. In Europe, I saw many passengers who tried to board in the wrong group told to step aside, and wait for their group to be called. Lets see if Qantas will do that.

If it works for Qantas, maybe Jetstar should try it, given its on-time and cancellation performance is woefull.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Previously . . .

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates about 2PAXfly.

Reviews, deals, offers, and most of all opinion will be in your inbox.

We won't spam you, and we won't share your details with others.

Newsletter Regularity

You have Successfully Subscribed!