The Aussie town where 70 per cent of flights are delayed or cancelled

·News Reporter
·3-min read

Aussies hoping to travel this year have had their fair share of disruption as airlines and airports across the country continue to grapple with the new post-covid norm.

But no city or town has experienced more flight cancellations or delays than Broome, in Western Australia, which has seen almost 70 per cent of scheduled flights affected in June, a recent report revealed.

The Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) report measures flight delays and cancellations for all Australian routes, and June's figures show the worst recorded since delay-related data began being collected.

Arrivals and departures out of Broomeexperienced the most delays in the months of June. Source: Getty
Arrivals and departures out of Broome experienced the most delays in the months of June. Source: Getty

Just over 30 per cent of flights headed from to Perth from Broome left on time – the highest percentage of delays for any route in the country, ABC reported

Virgin Australia saw the worst of the delays with all fourteen flights scheduled to depart Broome for Perth experiencing delays up 15 minutes or more, the report showed. Meanwhile, only one flight arriving in Broome from Perth did so on time.

Virgin Australia Regional also suffered with the report showing only 38 per cent of its 50 flights scheduled departed when expected.

But Qantas wasn't without delays of its own with the airline seeing just 22.2 per cent of its flights arriving and departing from Broome on time.

A Qantas spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia a rise in Covid and other illnesses among airline crew, as well as the tight labour market, led to flight disruptions for all domestic airlines in June.

"These flight delays and cancellations are not the kind of performance that we were delivering pre-COVID and we know they are not at the level that our customers expect," they said in a statement.

Flight cancellations across the country continue

Despite these figures, cancellations were highest on the Sydney-Melbourne route at 15.3 per cent, followed by Melbourne to Sydney with 14.9 per cent of flights being cancelled across all airlines.

Qantas recorded the highest percentage of cancellations for the month— at 8.1 per cent — while Virgin Australia's cancellation rate for nationwide flights was a little less at 5.8 per cent.

In May, Qantas attributed the ongoing delays and cancellations to "Covid-related staff challenges" and "engineering requirements," it's been reported - and it seems the following month suffered for these reasons too.

Airlines worldwide have been grappling with staff shortages causing extensive delays and flight cancellations. Source: Getty
Airlines worldwide have been grappling with staff shortages causing extensive delays and flight cancellations. Source: Getty

Qantas placed an engineer in Broome in June to help manage any minor mechanical checks that may need to be carried out, which they said would help with reducing cancellations.

But the flight delays in Broome have caused issues for many residents who frequently fly to Perth for medical treatment, Broome Shire President Harold Tracey told the ABC.

"The day before the appointment flight … [the flights are] getting cancelled and then having to cancel the appointments," he said.

Airlines 'focused on turning this performance around'

In recent months, frustrated passengers have shared their annoyance online in recent months with many detailing their airline dilemmas - from extensive delays to last minutes cancellations and lengthy airport lines.

Qantas and Jetstar are "focused on turning this performance around" and the airline is "already seeing improvements."

"Flight cancellations in July were lower than they were in June, call centre wait times are now better than they were pre-COVID and our mishandled bag rates are close to what they were before the pandemic," they said.

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia has also made some operational changes in a bid to reduce delays and cancellations - and they too have seen improvements.

"We sincerely apologise to any guest impacted by delayed or cancelled services and we continue to work hard to ensure all guests reach their destination," a Virgin Australia spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

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