Qantas ranks poorly for delays as fuel prices cause flight cuts

Qantas has seen its performance ranking drop to amongst the lowest in the world as the airline struggles to maintain airfares due to elevated oil costs.

The data indicating Qantas’ performance plunge came from the aviation analytics firm OAG who ranked the flying kangaroo 106 out of 128 airlines analysed in May.

Less than two-thirds – 63.8 per cent – of 22,082 flights landed or departed on time, according to the analysis.

Qantas’s cancellation rate was 6.9 per cent – which was over 1,500 flights – making it the highest amount for any airline.

According to The Australian, the airline disputed the OAG data and suggested performance and cancellations were poor across the board.

Qantas was ranked amongst the world’s 20 best airlines for punctuality before COVID-19, with more than 85 per cent of flights landing or departing within 15-minutes of schedule.

This new figure indicates the airline’s struggle as it attempts to return to pre-pandemic performance.

Qantas severely reduced its workforce during the pandemic; axing 9,000 from its workforce of about 30,000. The airline also retired its remaining Boeing 747s and put its A380 fleet in storage.

The flying kangaroo has not seen a dent in domestic bookings despite higher inflation and interest rates.

Yet the rising cost of fuel has caused the airline to raise airfares, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said on Sunday.

The airline removed some flights for July and August to boost fares and it could take more action, Reuters reported.

“We are seeing really strong demand internationally across the board and that is helping us recover oil prices in the international market,” Joyce told reporters.

“In domestic, we may need a little less capacity in the market to get that recovery and we are working through that at the moment.”

Virgin Australia has gone through a similar experience as the airlines CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said her airline already put through two fare increases. The airline was wary of cutting capacity before hitting its target of 33 per cent domestic market share as demand was strong.

“Most months we’re 33% revenue share, but not quite 33% capacity share,” she told Reuters in an interview.

“We’ll be carefully balancing a combination of capacity management and price increases.”

Virgin returned to profit in April and the airline is in talks of an IPO next year, depending on market conditions.