Airport chief attacks ‘unreliable’ air services

“CANBERRANS are paying a premium price to choose air travel and their plans are being messed up because they are receiving an unreliable service,” says Stephen Byron.

Stephen Byron.

The Canberra Airport managing director was calling on the Federal government to step in when airlines have higher than average flight cancellation rates.

In September, cancellations on the Canberra to Sydney route topped the nation at 8.1 per cent – far higher than the national long-term cancellation rate of 1.4 per cent.   

The trend continued in October with Qantas Link cancelling 42 flights (12.5 per cent) from Canberra to Sydney for the month, affecting up to 6000 people travelling on the route.

“Air travel is about travelling fast, and getting to a destination on time,” Mr Byron said.

“There are business people trying to get to meetings. There are people trying to attend family functions, weddings, funerals, sporting events and concerts. And they all need to get there on time. They do not need to have their flight cancelled.”

Mr Byron says airlines are not accountable for poor performance.  

“There does need to be a national standard, at which the Federal government, as both the regulator of the aviation industry and as the protector of consumers steps in,” he said.

“In my view a monthly cancellation rate of more than five per cent warrants intervention by the Federal government, and a demand for both an explanation and an improvement.”

 

October 2017 cancellations for individual routes

Scheduled

Flown

Cancellations

No          %

Canberra – Sydney

Qantas

8

7

1             12.5

Qantas Link

475

433

42           8.8

Virgin Australia

248

243

5             2

All Airlines

731

683

48           6.6

Sydney – Canberra

Qantas

9

7

2              22.2

Qantas Link

469

433

36            7.7

Virgin Australia

248

243

5              2

All Airlines

726

683

43            5.9

Brisbane – Canberra

Qantas

28

28

0              0

Qantas Link

125

111

14            11.2

Tigerair Australia

14

14

0               0

Virgin Australia

102

102

0               0

All Airlines

269

255

14             5.2

Canberra – Brisbane

Qantas

28

28

0              0

Qantas Link

125

111

14            11.2

Tigerair Australia

14

14

0              0

Virgin Australia

103

103

0              0

All Airlines

270

256

14            5.2

Canberra-Melbourne

Qantas

208

207

1              0.5

Qantas Link

98

85

13            13.3

Tigerair Australia

36

36

0              0

Virgin Australia

176

173

3              1.7

All Airlines

518

501

17            3.3

Melbourne – Canberra

Qantas

208

207

1              0.5

Qantas Link

99

86

13            13.1

Tigerair Australia

36

36

0              0

Virgin Australia

177

173

4              2.3

All Airlines

520

502

18            3.5

 

Source: Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (BITRE)

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