In September, only five of Jetstar’s eleven planes were in service, making it difficult for the company to meet its service commitments.
According to figures released on Monday, the Qantas-owned airline cancelled 626 flights (9.5% of services) in September. In particular, 21 percent of flights between Brisbane and Sydney, one of Jetstar’s most popular routes, were cancelled.
According to figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Economics (BITRE), Jetstar cancelled 17.6 percent of its Brisbane to Melbourne flights and 17.1 percent of its Melbourne to Sydney services in September. On the other hand, Qantas cancelled only 2.5% of its flights.
BITRE found that compared to Qantas (35%) and Virgin Australia (33%), Jetstar had the highest percentage of delayed flights at 40%.
It is “well documented” that September is a difficult month for Jetstar’s operations, according to a company spokesman.
Our teams have been working hard to get all the aircraft back in the air. We’re pleased that our operations have stabilised significantly in October, with further improvements expected in November. “a number of unforeseen issues impacted our fleet, causing significant disruption across our network, and we sincerely apologise to customers whose holidays were impacted”.
Sixty percent of flights departed on time in October. The airline reported to The Australian that cancellation rates and on-time performances have dramatically improved since the previous month.
Qantas will spend an additional $200 million on both Qantas and Jetstar to give other resources to back up the operational performance. This includes having several Jetstar aircraft and crew on standby.
Although the BITRE does not consider international performance, data released by British aviation analytics firm OAG in September indicated Jetstar had an overall cancellation rate of 12.5%.
During the latter half of August and the first week of September, the low-cost airline saw a surge in passengers cancelling their flights to Bali. At the end of last month, more travellers to Hawaii, Singapore, and Indonesia were affected.
Jetstar’s CEO, Gareth Evans, will leave the company before the end of the year, and Qantas’ CCO, Stephanie Tully, will be taking up his role.