Significant delays are continuing at MEL on the afternoon of Thursday 5 March, a very rainy day along much of the east coast, with JQ793 (A320 VH-VQJ), the 1000 hours midmorning MCY down to MEL taking off at 1131 hours with arrival at 1431 hours, 66 minutes behind the schedule.
JQ515 (A320 VH-VQG, the 1330 hours afternoon SYD down to MEL airborne at 1635) is arriving at 1753 hours, 168 minutes late.
The 1600 hours afternoon MEL down to HBA (A320 VH-VFN) was still as at 1756 queuing for takeoff (to the south) so arrival should be at about 1858 hours, 103 minutes tardy.
Late on Thursday 5 March 2020, MEL has the dubious achievement of topping FR24's worldwide 'minutes of delay' rankings as JQ740 from LST (A320 VH-VQP, the 1825 hours airborne at 2032) arrives at 2215, 165 minutes tardy.
On Monday 16 March, JQ703, the 0830 hours MEL down to HBA is cancelled, as is JQ954, the 1130 hours SYD up to CNS.
Notably, QFd and VAd have an already high rate of cancellations displaying for MEL - SYD as at 0800 in the morning. However JQd already announced reductions in flight frequencies, so perhaps that partly explains why it isn't similarly showing many flights getting the flick.
JQ35, a rare example of a SYD - MEL flight that operates from and to international terminals as it normally continues on to DPS is cancelled this afternoon, at least for its domestic sector. Usual SYD pushback is 1550 hours mid afternoon.
JQ506, the Tuesday 17 March 0930 hours MEL - SYD has been cancelled.
This evening, JQ825, the 2025 hours MEL - SYD also will not run.
With the caveat that JQd may advise some more cancellations later as its operations staff and software work through any instances of lower passenger numbers, as with Monday it doesn't seem to be cancelling as many flights on Australia's most popular route by far, MEL - SYD as are QFd and VAd. The latter offer more flights, but it's not as if JQd offers none. The relative lack of JQd cancellations is surprising because one might have thought with COVID19 and 'social distancing', leisure passengers would be as likely to cancel as the QF and VA-frequenting corporate and public service travellers.
Today's rare cancellations are however nothing like the QF Group's just announced 90 per cent cuts to international frequencies and 60 per cent to domestic to be phased in from the end of March 2020, and no doubt discussed in other AFF threads.
On Wednesday 18 March 2020, JQ500, the 0620 hours from MEL to SYD along with JQ510, the 1100 hours departure on the same route are coronavirus-related cancellations. JQ526, the 1400 hours is another one.
On other routes, JQ560 (0700 hours MEL up to BNE) did not run while the 1120 hours MEL down to HBA, JQ707 is another to be cut today. So is JQ438, the mid afternoon MEL up to OOL and JQ778, the 1740 hours MEL - ADL.
This is more cancellations than JQd had yesterday when I checked early in the day, but at least ex MEL, quite a few routes lack a notified cancellation at this stage, so at least there's a 'service' of some sort.
Tuesday 5 May 2020 (still during coronavirus) sees JQ519, the 1110 hours SYD down to MEL not expected to arrive until 1345 hours.
UPDATE: The flight arrived MEL at 1403, 78 minutes tardy with A320 VH-VFV. Earlier, this plane had taken off from MEL at 1101 hours on the 0900 hours scheduled MEL - YD JQ506, arriving at 1208 hours, 98 late. Goodness knows why it was so delayed as it had spent overnight in MEL. Was there fog out at the airport?
This aircraft was not used on any flights on 29 April and 1 May 2020, showing how even those kept operating during coronavirus may have extremely low utilisation compared with the same days a year ago.
JQ506, the coronavirus pandemic period Thursday 28 May 2020 MEL to SYD scheduled to depart at 0900 hours took off at 1011, arriving 45 minutes late at 1115 hours. Aircraft was A320 VH-VQC. So far this has been its only flight for seven days.
I'd have thought that if an aircraft was mothballed, it would stay so, and that a subfleet would be in reasonably regular use.
The only other departures publicly showing as timetabled by JQ today ex MEL were JQ780 to ADL and JQ709 down to HBA. Sparse.
JQ519, the 1110 hours SYD back down to MEL was operated by VH_VQX, pushing back at 1215 and taking off at 1231 hours. Consequently, arrival in the southern capital was at 1341, 56 late. It was then only seven minutes late arriving HBA at 1542 mid afternoon on JQ709, but its next flight, JQ712 from HBA to MEL, the 1615 hours, did not take off until 1741 so at gate arrival was 1841, 71 behind schedule.
JQ775 (Friday 29 May 2020, the scheduled coronavirus period with the borders ex SA closed) is the 1640 hours ADL across to MEL (A320 VH-VFN) that took off at 1737. Accordingly, suggested at gate or its equivalent arrival is 1904 hours, 34 behind.
The aircraft had not been used on Thursday with JQ770, the 1425 hours SYD - ADL being its only other flight thus far today, but that arrived in the wine capital at 1657, 52 late, explaining the tardiness of JQ775.
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JQ770 on Saturday 30 May was the 1650 hours MEL - ADL, operated by A320 VH-VFN for the third consecutive day (although on the other two days it was a SYD - ADL). It did not become airborne until 1742 so arrival was at 1824 hours,
Despite being before 1700, this was the final scheduled passenger carrying domestic departure of any airline for 30 May. Had we predicted this six months ago, quizzical looks would have been the response.