26 November 2023

Qantas promises more reliable service on Canberra to Sydney route

| Lizzie Waymouth
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Qantas says Canberra to Sydney cancellation rates in November are tracking lower at 4 per cent. Photo: File.

Canberrans regularly travelling to and from Sydney should hope to experience a more reliable service if flying with Qantas, according to the airline.

Qantas has come under fire for its high rates of cancellations on the Canberra to Sydney route and has acknowledged that an “unacceptably high” number of flights between the two cities failed to take off in recent months.

However, a Qantas spokesperson told Region cancellation rates between Sydney and Canberra so far in November were down significantly from previous months, currently tracking at about 4 per cent.

“We are particularly focused on bringing down cancellations on flights between Sydney and Canberra and the measures we have put in place over the past few months are helping,” the spokesperson said.

There have already been some improvements to the service since cancellations peaked earlier this year.

According to the latest data, of the 929 flights Qantas operated between Canberra and Sydney last month, 90 were cancelled, or 9.7 per cent. In comparison, 14.7 per cent of Qantas flights between the two cities were cancelled in August.

The airline blamed “bad weather in Sydney” for October’s cancellation figures.

“Across Australia, poor weather impacted airline schedules on all but six days for the month,” the Qantas spokesperson said.

“We know how important it is for our customers to get away on time and we’re focused on making sure we deliver on the experience our customers expect.”

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The spokesperson said Qantas had made changes to its schedule to reduce the number of turboprop aircraft in an effort to improve reliability.

“We have adjusted our schedule between October 2023 and March 2024 to reduce the number of Dash 8 turboprops and increase the number of Boeing 737s. We believe this will significantly improve the reliability of Sydney-Canberra flights,” they said.

“We have shared this plan with Canberra Airport, who have welcomed these changes, and we’ll continue to monitor performance closely.”

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Qantas has previously told Region that high-frequency routes such as Canberra to Sydney are more likely to be cancelled as customers can be more easily rescheduled on another flight.

“When bad weather, air traffic control shortages or our own operational issues mean that we can’t fly our schedule as planned, we cancel flights from high-frequency routes like Sydney-Canberra because the impact on customers is usually limited to an hour or so,” the spokesperson said.

“This helps us protect lower-frequency routes to regional centres and places like Darwin or Hobart where the impact of a cancelled flight for passengers could be half a day or more.

”While we try hard to avoid any delay or cancellation, our next priority is to minimise the total impact on passengers as much as possible.”

However, Canberra Airport CEO Stephen Byron has hit back at the airline on several occasions and called for the Federal Government to step in to hold airlines to account for poor performance.

Mr Byron has called the cancellations “simply unfair to Canberra travellers”.

“Canberrans are paying a premium price to access air travel, which is about travelling fast and getting to a destination on time on the flight they have booked,” he said.

”People are travelling for family functions, weddings, funerals, business meetings. They should not have to deal with the inconvenience of having their flight cancelled.

“This is not the first time we have seen this behaviour from Qantas. The same issues of cancellations on the Canberra to Sydney service occurred in 2017 and again in 2018. More than five years later, we continue to see anti-competitive behaviour from Qantas, who book take-off and landing slots into Sydney Airport with no intention of using them.

”We are yet again calling on the Federal Government to step in and hold airlines to account for poor performance.”

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This is clearly to appease the elite. I would strongly suggest that the Qantas shareholders have a good look at how poorly their investments in Qantas are performing in terms of customer satisfaction. Poor service, changed schedules, late departures and arrivals. This is supposed to be Australia’s flagship. Sadly not so.

Capital Retro8:56 am 28 Nov 23







@Capital Retro
Clever and witty … I never thought I’d say that about a post from you, CR, but credit where it’s due

Capital Retro9:11 am 29 Nov 23

Even the most extreme lefties like you find my charm, wit and personality impossible to ignore.

Personally I prefer the reliability, comfort and enjoyment of the train or bus, as well as the cost and the fact that there’s no mucking around wasting time at either end.

Certainly not improving! Last Wednesday my daughter flew from Brisbane to Sydney to be told her flight on to Canberra was cancelled and she would be accommodated in the Bankstown locality!! The taxi trip cost over $100 and took over an hour. So she arrived very late to her accommodation. Her travel plans had to be revised, as she was to drive out from Canberra first thing the next morning. Thus a very early start to taxi back to the airport the next morning and same taxi fare. Just ridiculous! At the very least they should have accommodated affected passengers close to the airport. A quick search revealed that there was accomodation available.

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