On time performance: Australia vs. the USA

Delays and cancellations are probably the most commonplace complaint heard by airlines from customers. Nothing is more infuriating than sitting at an airport or stuck on the tarmac as time ticks on.

But it turns out, Australia isn’t actually doing too bad. If we compare yearly results for the last decade or so with the world’s largest aviation market, the United States, it’s clear that Australia comes out well in front. In fact, only on two occasions since 2005 was the yearly average lower than that of the US.

Both the U.S. Department of Transportation and Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics define: a flight arrival as “on time” if it arrived at the gate before 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival time shown in the carriers’ schedule: a flight departure as “on time” if it departs the gate before 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time shown in the carriers’ schedule; and a flight removed from service within 7 days of scheduled departure is regarded as a cancellation.

The percentage of on time arrivals, departures and cancellations is measured against the number of services operated on any particular sector.

Australia vs. the U.S. On time performance 2005-2017

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation and Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics

*2017 Data consists of Jan-Oct.