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Air France — Flights, Punctuality & Cancellations in 2021

The biggest operational analysis of France's flag carrier. We've analyzed and benchmarked Air France's flights, punctuality, and cancellation rates in 2021. Here are the results!

Air France — Flights, Punctuality & Cancellations in 2021

Having analyzed Germany’s flag carrier, Lufthansa, with our last post, we put together some of the most relevant data about Air France this time. Therefore, we analyzed Air France’s flight performance in 2021: Flight rankings, punctuality reports, and cancellation rates. Moreover, we benchmarked the airline’s flight performance against regional and global averages. Here’s what’s contained in detail:

Flight Analysis
Monthly Flight Overview
Global & Europen Ranking By Number of Flights
Pre-COVID Benchmark

Flight Punctuality
Monthly Punctuality Overview
Global & European Ranking By Punctuality

Flight Cancellations
Monthly Cancellation Overview
Global & European Ranking By Cancellation Rate

Air France — Flight Analysis

We kick off the analysis with details about Air France’s flights from February to June 2021. Then, on top of the overall numbers, we also provide information on the airline’s share in terms of EMEA traffic and the carrier’s ranking compared to other European and global airlines. Finally, and as the icing on the cake, we compare Air France’s performance in 2021 to pre-COVID results from 2019. So let’s get into it!

Monthly Flight Overview

Air France had a very strong start in 2021 compared to other European airlines. Compared to Lufthansa, for example, Air France operated almost 10,000 more flights in February. However, the French carrier wasn’t able to significantly grow its traffic in March and April. On the contrary, and different from many other European carriers, the airline had to reduce its number of flights in April; nevertheless, since May, Air France is back on its way out of the crisis — at least in terms of flights.

MonthNo. Flightsvs. prev. Month
Avg. ’2116,477
Air France – Number of Monthly Flights February – June 2021

Due to a large number of flights in February, Air France achieved an amazing share in relation to the overall flight of EMEA airline of 7.5%. However, afterward, the percentage steadily decreased in March in April to 4.5%.

Air France's Share In Relation to Total EMEA Flights
Air France’s Share In Relation to Total EMEA Flights
Air France's - Number of flights per month
Air France’s – Number of flights per month

Global & European Ranking By Number of Flights

Compared to many other airlines —globally and EMEA— Air France did an amazing job. As a result, the airline ranks among the top 20 world’s biggest airlines in three out of five analyze months. Moreover, in terms of EMEA airlines, Air France ranks second or third. From February to June, only Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, and Ryanair (May and June) operated more flights than the French carrier.

MonthDomestic Rank EMEA Rank Global Rank
Average ’2112.617.4
Air France – Global & European Ranking By Flight Numbers
Air France average monthly flights in 2021

Pre-COVID Benchmark

When comparing Air France’s flight performance to pre-COVID time, the results are pretty different from other flag carriers. For example, while Lufthansa operated only 14% of pre-COVID flight volume in February, Air France already achieved more than 60%. Moreover, while Lufthansa reached 34% of its pre-COVID level, Air France achieved 77% in June.

MonthFlights 2021Flights 2019’21 vs. ’19 (abs)’21 vs. ’19 (%)
February14,57823,8759,297 61.0%
March14,65927,61812,959 53.0%
April12,47928,18815,709 44.2%
May18,10828,71310,605 63.0%
June22,56529,2166,651 77.2%
Avg. ’2116,47727,52211,044
Air France – Number of Monthly Flights Compared to Pre-COVID

Air France – Flight Punctuality

In the following chapter, we take a deeper look at Air France’s flight performance regarding punctuality. Again, we benchmark the airline’s results with EMEA averages and provide a domestic, regional, and global ranking.

Monthly Puncutality Overview

Contrary to its fantastic performance in terms of flight volume, Air France struggles with flight punctuality. Based on punctuality results below 80% in February and June, the airline achieved an average on-time performance of 81.4%. Also, compared to other big carriers (Ryanair >92%, Aeroflot >92%, KLM >90%), Air France’s results in terms of punctuality seem to have room for optimization.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average ’21
Air France77.4%80.9%85.0%85.3%78.7%81.4%
EMEA Average73.9%85.7%85.6%85.2%83.6%82.8%
Air France – Punctuality for Flights February – June 2021
Air France FLight Punctuality 2021

Air France Flights — Global & European Ranking By Punctuality

Based on the weak performance, Air France ranks in the midfield from a global point of view. Moreover, compared to EMEA airlines, Air France ranks on positions >60 on average.

MonthDomestic RankEMEA RankGlobal Rank
Average ’213.463.4126.2
Air France – Global & European Ranking By Punctuality


Air France Flight Cancellations

In the last chapter of this report, we take a detailed look at Air France’s flight cancellations. Similar to the previous chapter, we put results in relation to regional averages and provide rankings.

Monthly Cancellation Overview

We were pretty surprised when we came up with the results of Air France’s cancellation rates in 2021. The carrier faced some terrible months with cancellation rates close to or even above 10%. In other words, Air France had to cancel one out of ten flights in February and March. Moreover, the performance from April to June was also fragile. As a result, Air France’s cancellation rate is 3.3 pp. higher than the EMEA average.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average ’21
Air France11.8%9.8%4.8%3.4%6.4%7.2%
EMEA Average6.8%2.7%2.5%4.0%3.6%3.9%
Air France – Cancellation February – June 2021
Air France Average Cancellation Rate 2021

Air France Flights — European Ranking by Cancellations

Based on the devastating results, Air France ranks in the last quarter compared to other global airlines and EMEA airlines.

MonthDomestic RankEMEA RankGlobal Rank
Average ’213.677.6155.8
Air France – Global & European Ranking By Cancellations February – June 2021

Used Data

The shown information is based on OAG data and internal data sources. Rankings only included airlines that operated more than 500 flights in the respective month. However, the global benchmark includes all tracked flights. On average, 280 airlines are included in each month’s analysis. Whenever stated, EMEA refers to airlines based in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.

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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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