Australia’s worst airlines and airports for cancellations

Peter Terlato 1 June 2017 NEWS

airport cancellation

Around 44 flights are cancelled every day across Australia.

Long queues, expensive food and incessant waiting. Getting stuck at the airport is never fun. However, new research has identified the domestic airlines and airports that experience the most cancellations.

Analysing Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) data, finder.com.au found Karratha Airport in Western Australia was the worst for departure cancellations, with 3.47% of flights cancelled each year. The airport has suffered 1,782 cancellations since 2010.

Gladstone (2.99%), Canberra (2.73%) and Rockhampton (2.55%) were also notable for cancellations, while the best performing airports were Darwin (0.54%), Wagga Wagga (0.55%) and Albury (0.78%).

When comparing Australia's major airports, Sydney's Kingsford Smith (2.07%) was the most likely to endure domestic departure cancellations. Melbourne (1.86%) wasn't too far behind, while cancellation rates for Adelaide (0.92%), Hobart (0.83%), Cairns (0.82%), Darwin (0.54%) were significantly lower.

The commercial carrier with the highest percentage of cancellations since 2010 was QantasLink at 2.32%.

Regional Express (rex) was the best performer, with just 0.45% of flights cancelled in the past six years.

The research also revealed the worst month for domestic flight cancellations in Australia was June, followed by July. Over the last six years, the least cancellations occured in May, March and November.

Carrier Flights since 2010 Cancellations since 2010 Cancellation %
QantasLink 1,318,436 30,617 2.32%
Jetstar 1,038,598 17,647 1.70%
Virgin Australia 1,939,546 32,229 1.66%
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines 160,658 2,667 1.66%
Tigerair Australia 286,142 4,143 1.45%
Qantas 1,664,795 22,909 1.38%
Regional Express 603,393 2,716 0.45%
Airport Flights since 2010 Cancellations since 2010 Cancellation %
Karratha 51,320 1,782 3.47%
Gladstone 43,210 1,294 2.99%
Canberra 270,584 7,388 2.73%
Rockhampton 64,234 1,636 2.55%
Sydney 1,424,462 29,424 2.07%
Melbourne 1,160,600 21,614 1.86%
Gold Coast 221,972 3,946 1.78%
Sunshine Coast 44,588 742 1.66%
Brisbane 966,008 14,562 1.51%
Launceston 71,872 1,030 1.43%
Mackay 57,960 808 1.39%
Perth 408,258 5,322 1.30%
Newcastle 67,012 788 1.18%
Townsville 94,704 1,012 1.07%
Port Lincoln 49,778 466 0.94%
Adelaide 376,442 3,482 0.92%
Hobart 107,106 892 0.83%
Cairns 168,986 1,386 0.82%
Dubbo 45,994 376 0.82%
Albury 46,382 360 0.78%
Wagga Wagga 40,284 220 0.55%
Darwin 52,164 284 0.54%

While imposed cancellations are a pain, there may come a time when you need to cancel a flight of your own. Compare travel insurance providers to find the policy that will protect you in these circumstances.

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