ONLY a quarter of Qantas flights from Melbourne to Mildura last month landed on time, making Sunraysia arrivals the nation’s hardest hit by recent schedule chaos.

Rex performed markedly better on the same route, with 72 per cent of its arrivals touching down on time.

However, the overall on-time arrival rate at Mildura Airport, 47 per cent, was the lowest of all destinations tracked by the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics.

Things were slightly more punctual heading in the other direction, with 55 per cent departing on time, but again Rex (84 per cent) strongly outperformed Qantas (29 per cent).

There were also eight cancelled Qantas flights each way during June, while Rex had no cancellations.

A Qantas spokesperson said the company was focused on turning its performance around and was “already seeing improvements”, with fewer cancellations this month.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

“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.

“We had rostered additional crew on standby which helped lessen the impact of COVID-related crew absences and meant 85 per cent of our domestic flights for the month departed within an hour of schedule.”

Mildura Airport CEO Trevor Willcock said the delays weren’t attributable to the airport, with the possible exception of fog events. They are hoped to be less of an issue once the new instrument landing system is operational.

Mr Willcock said the airport actually had capacity for many more departures and arrivals.

“We are 100 per cent staffed, we’re open, we’re compliant and we’re doing everything we can,” he said.

Weather challenges at Melbourne and Sydney airports last month were understood to be one of the key factors affecting national schedules.

Mr Willcock said issues at one airport can affect the timing of Mildura flights without any issue existing at Mildura itself.