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‘Notably worse’: Consumer watchdog puts airlines on alert


Jetstar has been labelled “notably worse” for cancellations than other airlines in a new report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“Service reliability remains relatively poor” across all airlines, the ACCC said.

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Cancellation and delay rates in the industry have worsened again after showing signs of improvements earlier this year.

Compared with long-term industry averages, performance was poor.

The industry cancelled 3.9 per cent of flights in April 2023. The long-term industry average is 2.1 per cent.

“Jetstar reported notably worse cancellation rates than other airlines,” the ACCC said.

“It cancelled 8.1 per cent of flights in April, more than double the rate of the other airlines.”

Jetstar has ‘notably worse cancellation rates than other airlines’, the ACCC said in a new report. Credit: AAP

Flight delays are also a concern, with just 71.8 per cent of flights across the industry arriving on time in April.

The industry long-term average is 81.5 per cent.

“This represents more than 12,000 flights arrived more than 15 minutes late,” the ACCC said.

Jetstar was again a low performer, with the ACCC reporting only 59.7 per cent of flights arrived on time.

“Jetstar has acknowledged it needs to do more to improve punctuality,” the ACCC said.

The airline announced in May it was recruiting more airport staff, cabin crew and engineering team members, as well as making changes to its check-in, bag drop and boarding times.

Flight cancellation rates are worse across the entire industry, the ACCC said. Credit: ACCC

Bonza also reported more delays.

This can be attributed to its recent expansion, the ACCC said, launching an additional eight routes on its network.

Bonza reported 50.7 per cent of its flights arrived late in April.

Qantas was the best on-time performer, at 78.4 per cent, followed by Rex with 73.2 per cent and Virgin Australia at 67.6 per cent.

Flight delays are also currently worse than the industry average, the ACCC said. Credit: ACCC

The report also found passenger and capacity figures are yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, reaching 92 per cent of April 2019 levels.

Airfares continue to fall, due to pent-up demand and decreased jet fuel prices.

But average revenue per passenger and discounted economy airfares remain higher than pre-pandemic levels, the report said, even after adjusting.

With the expansion of Rex and the entry into the market of Bonza, domestic airline competition is at a “critical juncture”.

“Other than natural monopolies, the domestic airline industry is one of the most concentrated industries in Australia,” the report said.

Rex and Bonza have “created the opportunity for a more competitive era”, the report said, “but they would need to grow significantly to become more meaningful competitors to Qantas Group and Virgin Australia”.

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Source: 7News