COVID Easter delays worst since aviation records began – Australian Aviation

Long queues are forming at Sydney Airport on Friday. (@jasminchill)

Airline travel delays in April were the worst since check-ins began – with almost 40% of arrivals and departures not on time.

Results were poor among all major airlines, although for the whole month Qantas – Australia’s only premium airline – slipped behind cheaper rivals with on-time arrivals falling to just 59 per cent, against 74% for Rex and 66% for Virgin. .

Of the routes measured, the worst were Launceston-Melbourne, which dropped to just 37% on-time arrivals, and Melbourne Perth, which dropped to 32.4% on-time departures. The overall cancellation rate climbed to 4%.

The new version from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) reads: “For April 2022, punctuality on all routes operated by participating airlines (Jetstar, Qantas, QantasLink, Rex Airlines, Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines) averaged 63.6% for on-time arrivals and 62.2% for on-time departures.

“These are the worst on-time performance numbers since logging began in November 2003. This month’s numbers were impacted by weather-related events, congestion (the highest number of sectors overflown since the onset of COVID-19) and other COVID-19 related questions.

“The equivalent figures for April 2021 were 85.2% for on-time arrivals, 83.7% for on-time departures and 2.9% for cancellations.

“QantasLink recorded the highest percentage of cancellations (at 5.4%) during the month, followed by Qantas (at 5.0%), Jetstar (at 4.9%), Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (at 3.2%), Virgin Australia (at 3.1%) and Rex Airlines (at 1.1%). »

The holiday delays have drawn huge national media attention, with airports across the country seeing huge queues at check-in, baggage drop-off and security.

Meanwhile, Sydney Airport was forced to cancel dozens of flights in the days leading up to Easter.

The chaos has seen passengers grow increasingly frustrated, with missed and canceled flights and added stress after two years without the ability to travel.

Sydney Airport and Qantas attributed the long wait times, in part, to travelers themselves, however, many passengers said there was a problem with visible staff who saw the security lanes and check-in counters closed and non-operational.

Amid reports for the first time of holiday chaos in Sydney, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce blamed the delays on “out of shape” travellers.

“I went through airports on Wednesday and people forget they have to get their laptops out, they have to get their spray cans out… so it takes longer to get through the [security] queue,” he said.

He added that COVID close contact rules were causing a “high level of absenteeism” of up to 18%, but NSW Health then relaxed close contact rules for aviation workers, allowing them to return to work. work with a mask if they have no symptoms and test negative for COVID, even if someone in their household has tested positive.

Comments are closed.