A popular tourist town in WA’s far north has been outed as having the worst airport delays in Australia, according to new data.
A monthly report by the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics has revealed that Broome experienced the lowest percentage of on-time arrivals and departures this June, with a little over 30 percent of flights to Perth leaving within 15 minutes of their scheduled departure.
Flights arriving in Broome proved only marginally better, with 37 percent landing on time.
In Broome, Virgin Australia delivered the brunt of these delays with none of the 14 scheduled flights from Broome to Perth departing on time.
Virgin Australia Regional Airlines also suffered delays, only 38 percent of flights to Perth managed to leave at the scheduled time.
A spokesperson for Virgin Australia apologized on behalf of the company and said they will “continue to work hard to ensure all guests reach their destination”.
“While any delay is unacceptable, we’re working hard to improve our performance and we are not the only business experiencing the unintended knock-on effects of increased sickness present in the wider community.”
The other major airlines out of Broome Airport, Qantas and QantasLink experienced similar delays, attributing COVID-19 as a major factor behind the figures.
Only 22 percent and 31.5 percent of Qantas and QantasLink flights from Broome to Perth left on time, with 10 out of 83 flights canceled altogether.
It comes after rising public concern over increased delays and cancellations, which, in many cases, saw tourists taking up overnight residence in the homes of generous locals.
In late June, Qantas announced that they would station an on-site engineer in Broome in an attempt to curb further flight issues.
A Qantas spokesperson said June’s delays and cancellations were attributed to a rise in COVID-19 and other illnesses among airline crew, and the tough labor market.
“These flight delays and cancellations are not the kind of performance that we were delivering pre-COVID,” they said.
“Everyone at Qantas and Jetstar is focused on turning this performance around.”
The BITRE report also revealed the national industry recorded its worst-ever on-time performance figures which stand at approximately 61 percent among all participating airlines.
Broome Airport was approached for comment.