Canceled Flights: Here’s How Many Flights Europe’s Airlines Cancel!

Want to know which European airline canceled the most flights? Here are the top and flop airlines when it comes to flight cancellations!

Canceled Flights: Here’s How Many Flights Europe’s Airlines Cancel

Canceled Flights vs. Cancellation Rate

With this blog post, we focus on two indicators to evaluate how many flights Europe’s airlines cancel: The number of canceled flights and the cancellation rate. Although the cancellation rate incorporates the number of flights, the overall results can differ. So here’s to explain both indicators quickly:

  • Number of Canceled Flights: Counts the amount of flights an airline canceled during a specific period.
  • Cancellation Rate: Puts the number of canceled flights in relation with operated flights.

As a result, the cancellation rate provides the probability of a flight cancellation when choosing a specific airline — at least retrospectively. However, subsequently, a large number of canceled flights does not necessarily lead to a high cancelation rate as long as the airline performs many overall flights.

Used Data

The shown information is based on OAG data and internal data sources. Moreover, the shown results in terms of flights and cancelation rates reflect data for June 2021. Moreover, the ranking only included airlines that operated more than 500 flights in June.

Flop 3 Airlines With Highest Cancellation Rates In Detail

Before we dive into the top and worst performers’ detailed ranking in terms of flight cancellation, we want to introduce June’s Flop 3 airlines concerning the cancellation rate.

#1 — Edelweiss Air

It seems like the Swiss carrier had enormous problems in June. With more than 350 canceled flights, the member of the Lufthansa Group reported a cancellation rate of 34.6%. In other words, Edelweiss Air had to cancel more than every third flight in the last month. The carrier focuses on European and especially international holiday destinations. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how Edelweiss’s performance continues in July.

Edelweiss Air — European Airlines with most canceled  flights
By Mike Burdett from CROMER, UK – HB-IJV, CC BY-SA 2.0

#2 — Aer Lingus

Ireland’s flag-carrier, Aer Lingus, wins the ungrateful silver medal of Europe’s airlines with the highest cancellation rate in June 2021. However, compared to Edelweiss Air on position one, Aer Lingus did much better. Out of 1,500 flights, Aer Lingus had to cancel approximately 250. Accordingly, the cancellation rate results in 16.6%.

Aer Lingus — European Airlines with most canceled  flights
By Adam Moreira (AEMoreira042281) – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 4.0

#3 — Icelandair

The third position concerning Europe’s airline with most canceled flights goes to Iceland’s flag-carrier Icelandair. However, worth mentioning that Icelandair’s performance is much better than Edelweiss Air but also Aer Lingus. Icelandair had to cancel around 85 flights out of more than 1,300 operated flights. Accordingly, the cancellation rate results in 6.5%

Icelander — European Airlines with most canceled  flights
By, CC BY-SA 3.0

Flop 20 Airlines With Most Canceled Flights

Air France wins the unwanted gold medal when looking at the European airlines with the most canceled flights. In absolute number, the French flag carrier canceled more flights than any other European airline in June. Moreover, the gap between Air France on first and Edelweiss Air on the second position is significant: Air France canceled almost 1,500 flights compared to 363 of Edelweiss.

With KLM and Aer Lingus, we have two other flag carriers among the top 5 European airlines with the most canceled flights. KLM had to cancel 267 flights in June, whereas Aer Lingus canceled 250. Wideroe, Loganair, and British Airways complete the list of European airlines that canceled more than 100 flights in June.

When looking at ranks 12 to 20, the number of cancellations is already relatively low. Especially for Ryanair, Easyjet, and Lufthansa, the number of cancellations is low compared to the number of operated flights.

RankIATAAirlineNo. FlightsCanceled Flights
1AFAir France22,5651,444
2WKEdelweiss Air1,048363
4EIAer Lingus1,504250
7BABritish Airways6,714114
8W6Wizz Air11,44192
110BBlue Air2,37748
14W9Wizz Air UK65335
16FLAir Leap59934
18JUAir Serbia1,64028
Flop 20 European Airlines With Most Canceled Flights in June 2021
Air France, Europe's Airline with most canceled flights in June 2021
Air France, Europe’s Airline with most Cancellations in June 2021 — By Quintin Soloviev – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Flop 20 Airlines With Highest Cancellation Rate

We find Edelweiss Air, Aer Lingus, and Icelandair on the first three ranks concerning the European airlines with the highest cancellation rate. Since the cancellation rate incorporates the overall number of flights, the ranking looks quite different from the above one:

  • Air France is no longer in the top 3 and ranks 4th with a cancellation rate of 6.4%.
  • Big players, such as Lufthansa, Ryanair, or Easyjet are no longer contained in the ranking.
  • Smaller airlines, such as Loganair, Air Leap, Croatia Airlines, or SATA ranks as European’s airlines with high cancellation rates — mainly due to relatively low amount of flights.

However, and worth mentioning that even airlines that rank among the Flop 20 show cancellation rates of below 1% — which is actually relatively good.

RankIATAAirlineCancellation Rate
1WKEdelweiss Air34.6%
2EIAer Lingus16.6%
4AFAir France6.4%
5FLAir Leap5.7%
6W9Wizz Air UK5.4%
100BBlue Air2.0%
11BABritish Airways1.7%
12JUAir Serbia1.7%
14OUCroatia Airlines0.9%
15W6Wizz Air0.8%
17XKAir Corsica0.8%
18SPSATA Air Acores0.8%
Flop 20 European Airlines With Highest Cancelation Rate in June 2021


Top 20 Airlines With Fewest Canceled Flights

Amazing to see that nine European airlines did not cancel a single flight in June. However, the rest of the top 20 airlines showed an extraordinary performance: Even the airlines ranked on position 17-20 canceled only five flights in the course of June.

RankIATAAirlineNo. FlightsCanceled Flights
2OAOlympic Air4,8040
5BTAir Baltic1,7350
9ENAir Dolomiti5480
10PSUkraine International1,0471
12A3Aegean Airlines2,2672
13UXAir Europa3,1293
14S4SATA International5443
16GQSky Express3,6084
18SNBrussels Airlines2,5725
Top 20 European Airlines With Fewest Canceled Flights in June 2021
Alitalia — Europe's Airline with fewest canceled flights in June
Alitalia — Europe’s Airline with fewest cancellations in June — By Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia – Alitalia, EI-DSW, Airbus A320

Top 20 Airlines With Lowest Cancellation Rate

Let’s look at the other side of the medal and discover European airlines with the lowest cancellation rates. Amazing to see that nine European airlines did not cancel a single flight in June. Accordingly, we ranked the airlines concerning the number of flights — meaning if two airlines have the identical cancelation rate, the airline with more flights ranks higher.

Besides nine carriers with a cancelation rate of 0%, ten more airlines show a meager rate of 0.1%. Only one airline (Brussels Airline) has a higher cancelation rate than 0.1%. Also interesting to see that Ryanair ranks in the list of the airlines with the most cancellations and the list with the lowest cancellation rates. What first seems to be a mistake is simply linked to the enormous amount flights Ryanair performs.

RankIATAAirlineCancelation Rate
2OAOlympic Air0.0%
5BTAir Baltic0.0%
9ENAir Dolomiti0.0%
10PSUkraine International0.1%
13UXAir Europa0.1%
14GQSky Express0.1%
20SNBrussels Airlines0.2%
Top 20 European Airlines With Lowest Cancellation Rate in June 2021

Canceled Flights — What Do You Think?

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Benjamin Walther

CEO, Frankfurt

Benjamin is Information Design's CEO and a proven content-maniac. Besides running a successful business and developing pioneering ideas, he's dedicated to writing blog posts and creating content.

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