Want to know which North American airline canceled the most flights? We’ve analyzed airlines from the United States and Canada — here’s the result: The top and flop airlines when it comes to flight cancellations!

Flight Cancellations — U.S. Airlines

Flight Cancellations: How Delta & Other North American Airlines Perform!

Canceled Flights vs. Cancellation Rate

With this blog post, we focus on two indicators to evaluate how many flights North America’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, many canceled flights do 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 displayed results in terms of flights and cancelation rates reflect data for June 2021. On top of that, the ranking only included airlines that operated more than 500 flights in June.

Contents

Flight Cancellations: North America’s Flop 3 Airlines With Highest Cancellation Rates In Detail

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

#1 — Air Inuit

It seems like Canada’s Air Inuit faced some significant problems in June. Unexpectedly, the airline ranks first when it comes to the cancellation rate among North American airlines. Air Inuit had to cancel 13.4% of its flights. As a result, the airline canceled almost 150 flights in June. We hope Air Inuit returns to better operations in July!

Air Inuit — North America's Airline With Worst Flight Cancellation Rate
Air Inuit — North America’s Airline With Worst Flight Cancellation Rate — By Jean-Philippe Richard – Own work, CC BY 3.0

#2 — PAL Airlines

It looks like it was a tough month for Canadian airlines. However, the unwanted silver medal for the airline with the highest flight cancellation rates goes to Canada too. PAL Airlines had to cancel more than 100 flights in June. However, based on total flights of approximately 1,480, the airline achieved a cancellation rate of 7%.

PAL Airlines — North America's Airline With Second-Worst Flight Cancellation Rate
PAL Airlines — North America’s Airline With Second-Worst Flight Cancellation Rate – By aeroprints.com, CC BY-SA 3.0

#3 — Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines represents North America’s airlines with the third-highest cancellation rate. However, due to Southwest’s massive number of flights, the absolute number is much higher than Air Inuit or PAL Airlines. In total, Southwest Airlines had to cancel more than 3,200 flights in June. Based on more than 100,000 flights, Southwest recorded a cancellation rate of 3.2%.

Southwest Airlines — North America's Airline With Third-Worst Flight Cancellation Rate
Southwest Airlines — North America’s Airline With Third-Worst Flight Cancellation Rate – By Colton Henline – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Flop 5: North American Airlines With Most Canceled Flights

When looking at the absolute numbers, American Airlines, the world’s biggest airline, also recorded the highest number of cancellations in June. Out of more than 170,000 flights, American Airlines had to cancel approximately 4,337. However, as we will see below, the cancellation rate of American Airlines is still acceptable compared to other airlines.

In general, it isn’t surprising to see the big U.S. carriers listed among North America’s top 5 airlines with the highest number of flight cancellations. Besides American Airlines, Southwest and United Airlines ranks second and third. However, and as we will see below, Delta Airlines is the only of America’s big four that achieved much better results.

RankIATAAirlineCountryNo. FlightsCanceled Flights
1AAAmerican Airlines173,4644,337
2WNSouthwest Airlines100,6893,222
3UAUnited Airlines106,8011,068
4ASAlaska Airlines33,862474
5G4Allegiant Air12,525263
Flop 5 North American Airlines With Most Canceled Flights in June 2021
Three planes are situated, with a gray plane facing the right diagonal, a polished metal plane going the opposite direction, and another gray plane in the background
American Airlines — North America’s Airline with the highest number of canceled flights — By JTOcchialini – AA 5635, CC BY-SA 2.0

Flop 5: North American Airlines With Highest Flight Cancellation Rate

As already introduced, we find Air Inuit, PAL Airlines, and Southwest Airlines on positions one to three concerning the North American 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:

  • American Airlines is no longer in the top 3 and ranks 4th with a cancellation rate of 2.5%.
  • Compared to Air Inuit and PAL Airlines, the flight cancellation rate of Southwest, American Airlines, and Allegiant still looks moderare.
RankIATAAirlineCountryCancellation Rate
13HAir Inuit13.4%
2PBPAL Airlines7.0%
3WNSouthwest Airlines3.2%
4AAAmerican Airlines2.5%
5G4Allegiant Air2.1%
Flop 5 North American Airlines With Highest Flight Cancellation Rate in June 2021

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Top 10: North American Airlines With Fewest Canceled Flights

Amazing to see that four North American airlines did not cancel a single flight in June. With more than 6,000 flights, Hawaiian Airlines is definitely this month’s top airline. However, Sun Country, Silver Airways, and Pacific Coastal did a great job too!

Moreover, interesting to see that PAL Airlines and Air Inuit (two of the flop airlines) also rank among the top 10. However, this will change when looking at the flight cancellation rate (see below).

RankIATAAirlineCountryNo. FlightsCanceled Flights
1HAHawaiian Airlines6,0350
2SYSun Country Airlines1,9780
33MSilver Airways1,6110
48PPacific Coastal Airlines9050
5WSWestjet3,90420
6ACAir Canada8,61560
7PBPAL Airlines1,481104
8NKSpirit Airlines18,685112
93HAir Inuit1,070143
109KCape Air9,608173
Top 10 North American Airlines With Fewest Canceled Flights in June 2021
A white twin-engine plane painted with the word "HAWAIIAN" in the front above the windows, a black, silver, and white logo of a pirate's head on the forward bottom of the fuselage, and a woman in different purple hues on the tail taxis at an airport
By YSSYguy at the English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Top 10: North American Airlines With Lowest Flight Cancellation Rate

Let’s look at the other side of the medal and discover North America’s airlines with the lowest flight cancellation rates. Amazing to see that four North American 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.

And for all of you who have been waiting to see Delta Air Lines: Here we go. Finally, the world’s second-largest airline by number of flights achieved an outstanding result: Out of almost 130,000 flights, Delta had only to cancel 260.

RankIATAAirlineCountryCancellation Rate
1HAHawaiian Airlines0.0%
2SYSun Country Airlines0.0%
33MSilver Airways0.0%
48PPacific Coastal Airlines0.0%
5DLDelta Air Lines0.2%
6WSWestjet0.5%
7NKSpirit Airlines0.6%
8ACAir Canada0.7%
9B6JetBlue0.8%
10UAUnited Airlines1.0%
Top 10 North American Airlines With Lowest Flight Cancellation Rate in June 2021

Canceled Flights — What Do You Think?

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Benjamin is a content-maniac, music-lover, aviation-enthusiast, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions to change the way airlines, airports, and aviators use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry and working with renowned airlines + airports worldwide.

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