Exclusive Interview: Canberra Airport to incentivise airlines for reducing cancellations between Canberra and Sydney

Canberra Airport has announced plans to offer more than half a million dollars to major airlines for reducing Canberra-Sydney flight cancellations, which rose to 2.7% for arriving flights and 3.2% for departing flights in Feb-2018. Flight cancellations at Canberra Airport have been consistently above February’s national average of 1.3%.

Canberra Airport Managing Director Stephen Byron believes there is no acceptable reason why the Canberra-Sydney route should be subject to cancellation rates consistently above the national average and above comparable capital city routes.

In a letter sent to Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia, Canberra Airport has committed to paying AUD100,000 per month for the next six months to the airline that successfully operates the Canberra-Sydney route with a monthly cancellation rate at or below the national average for that month. If both Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia beat the national average, then the carrier with the lowest number of cancelled flights will get the monthly incentive. The offer will be in place for a full for six months, giving airlines the chance at AUD600,000.

In a recent interview with the Blue Swan Daily, conducted at CAPA’s 2018 Canberra Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit, Mr Byron discussed the incentive scheme which he hopes will also “win back travellers who have lost faith in the reliability of the service”.

“We are prepared to put our money where our mouth is to encourage airlines to stop the practise of cancelling flights and increase transparency about why flights are being cancelled,” said Mr. Byron. “All we want is a fair go for our passengers who do not deserve a cancellation rate worse than what other travellers get around the country—just get us back to the national average.”

To watch the full interview, in which My Bryon also discusses Canberra Airport’s customer service strategies, technology innovations and new route strategies, see below: