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Qatar Airways — Flights, Punctuality & Cancellations in 2021

Today, we deliver the most in-depth operational analysis of Qatar's flag carrier. We've crunched data, analyzed, and benchmarked Qatar Airways' flights, punctuality, and cancellation rates in 2021. Here are the results!

Qatar Airways — Flights, Punctuality & Cancellations in 2021

After we took a look at Saudi Arabian Airlines with our last post, we analyzed the most relevant data about Qatar Airways this time. Therefore, we analyzed Qatar’s flight performance in 2021: Flight rankings, punctuality reports, and cancellation rates. Moreover, we benchmarked Qatar’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

Qatar Airways — Flight Analysis

We kick off the analysis with details about Qatar Airways 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 Qatar Airways’s flight performance in 2021 to pre-COVID results from 2019. So let’s dive into the data!

Monthly Flight Overview

In comparison to many other airlines from Europe and the Middle East, Qatar Airways had a relatively strong start at the beginning of 2021. As a result, and as we will see below, Qatar Airways ranked as one of EMEA’s biggest airlines by the number of flights at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, due to COVID, Qatar Airways hasn’t been able to grow its traffic constantly. On the contrary, the airline’s number of flights has been trapped at a 10,000 monthly flights level. Moreover, and even sadder, Qatar Airways did not manage to grow its flights in June—while numbers of many other airlines, such as Ryanair or Lufthansa pumped in June. Nevertheless, that problem seems to be related to the Middle East since we found a similar pattern at Saudi Arabian Airlines.

MonthNo. Flightsvs. prev. Month
Avg. ’2110,040
Qatar Airways – Number of Monthly Flights February – June 2021

In line with the non-existent growth, Qatar Airways constantly lost its share in relation to overall EMEA airlines traffic. While Qatar accounted for 4.5% of EMEA airline traffic in February, this number decreased to 2.1% in June.

Qatar Airways’ Share In Relation to Total EMEA Flights
Qatar Airways’ – Number of flights per month

Global & European Ranking By Number of Flights

When looking at EMEA and global rankings according to the number of performed flights, the pattern continues. Qatar Airways ranked as one of EMEA’s biggest airlines in June behind Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, and Air France. However, from February to June, Qatar Airways fell 10 positions and ranked 14th. From a global perspective, the ranking was slightly more stable. Nonetheless, between February and June, Qatar Airways lost 13 positions too.

MonthDomestic Rank EMEA Rank Global Rank
Average ’211832
Qatar Airways – Global & European Ranking By Flight Numbers
Qatar Airways Average Monthly Flights in 2021

Pre-COVID Benchmark

When comparing Qatar’s flight traffic to its pre-COVID level, we get some interesting insights. Although, Qatar did not manage to grow its traffic significantly, the discrepancy to pre-COVID traffic is relatively low—compared to many other airlines such as Lufthansa or Ryanair. On average, Qatar Airways operated 4,900 additional flights in pre-COVID time on a monthly basis.

MonthFlights 2021Flights 2019’21 vs. ’19 (abs)’21 vs. ’19 (%)
February9,62915,1635,534 63.5%
March10,92514,8253,900 73.7%
April9,83715,0525,215 65.3%
May10,07215,575 5,503 64.7%
June9,73814,0604,322 69.3%
Avg. ’2110,04014,9354,894 67.3%%
Qatar Airways – Number of Monthly Flights Compared to Pre-COVID
Qatar Airways Flights Compared to pre-COVID

Qatar Airways – Flight Punctuality

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

Monthly Puncutality Overview

On average, Qatar’s flight punctuality from February to June was equal to the EMEA average. However, to other big carriers (Ryanair >92%, Aeroflot >92%, KLM >90%), Qatar Airways’ results in terms of punctuality seem to have room for optimization.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average ’21
Qatar Airways83.5%81.1%77.3%84.1%85.1%82.2%
EMEA Average73.9%85.7%85.6%85.2%83.6%82.8%
Qatar Airways – Punctuality for Flights February – June 2021
Qatar Airways Average Flight Punctuality in 2021

Qatar Airways Flights — Global & European Ranking By Punctuality

Based on the shown performance, Qatar Airways’ ranks in the midfield from a global point of view. Looking at other EMEA airlines, Qatar Airways ranks in the lower third of analyzed airlines.

MonthDomestic RankEMEA RankGlobal Rank
Average ’21161124
Qatar Airways – Global & European Ranking By Punctuality


Qatar Airways Flight Cancellations

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

Monthly Cancellation Overview

Good news first: Compared to the EMEA average, Qatar Airways achieved much better results in terms of flight cancellations. On average, Qatar’s performance was 2.3 pp. better than the EMEA average. Moreover, and except for April, Qatar Airways has constantly decreased its flight cancellation rate. Having started with a relatively high cancellation rate in February (2.2%), Qatar Airways decreased this value to 0.4% in June.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average ’21
Qatar Airways2.2%1.7%1.9%1.6%0.4%1.6%
EMEA Average6.8%2.7%2.5%4.0%3.6%3.9%
Qatar Airways – Cancellation February – June 2021
Qatar Airways Average Flight Cancellation Rate 2021

Qatar Airways Flights — European Ranking by Cancellations

Although Qatar Airways reduced its cancellation rate, the carrier reported a very stable ranking to compare to other EMEA and global airlines. This is mostly linked to the fact that the overall cancellation rate has been dropping since February.

MonthDomestic RankEMEA RankGlobal Rank
Average ’21156103
Qatar Airways – 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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