Exploring Australian Domestic Airline On Time Performance Part 1: Monthly Report Summary Statistics

Hugh McCann
Relken Engineering Pty Ltd
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The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) provides monthly reports detailing the latest punctuality and reliability data of major Australian domestic and regional airlines. Details are published for individual airlines on competitive routes and for airports on those routes. 

Part 1 in this series aims to recreate the standard summary statistics reported by BITRE in their monthly reports. Presenting the entire time series of data in an easy to navigate way adds context and gives the summary statistics more depth as well as making them more digestible. It also makes validation of the data analysis straightforward. Part 2 will dive deeper into the data to illustrate what is possible through this approach to exploration and discovery. It will focus on the insights that can come from trend analysis and investigation of outliers.

On-time performance (OTP) in the Australian Domestic Aviation Market is hotly contested between the competing airlines and airline groups and networks. Reduced growth and lower levels of demand for travel in all segments of the market has led to a strong emphasis on punctuality for airlines in an effort to attract and retain customers, in particular corporate and government travellers. By importing the BITRE OTP database into Tableau, performance, performance trends and movements can easily and intuitively be explored. Tableau allows the analyst to ask questions and seek answers from the database quickly. Exploring the database in this way also facilitates discovery and accelerates the path to insight.

According to BITRE, Jetstar and Qantas jet aircraft recorded on-time performance using the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), while Regional Express, Tigerair Australia, Virgin Australia, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines and Qantas’s non-jet fleet recorded on-time performance manually using records from pilots, gate agents and/or ground crews.

Data Source: BITRE