Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Saudi Arabian Airlines — Flights, Punctuality & Cancellations in 2021

The most extensive operational analysis of Saudi Arabia's flag carrier. We've analyzed and benchmarked Saudi Arabian Airlines' flights, punctuality, and cancellation rates in 2021. Here are the results!

Saudi Arabian Airlines — Flights, Punctuality & Cancellations in 2021

After having analyzed some of Europe’s major airlines, such as Lufthansa, Air France, or KLM, we put together some of the most relevant data about Saudi Arabian Airlines this time. Therefore, we analyzed Saudia’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

Saudi Arabian Airlines — Flight Analysis

We kick off the analysis with details about Saudi Arabian Airlines 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 Saudia’s performance in 2021 to pre-COVID results from 2019. So let’s get into it!

Monthly Flight Overview

Compared to many other European and Middle East airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines had a very strong start into the year and operated more than 9,000 flights in February. Afterward, Saudi Arabian’s flag carrier increased the number of flights constantly. However, and again compared to other airlines, the growth rate from February to June has been smaller. As a result, Saudi Arabian Airlines operated 12,264 flights in June.

MonthNo. Flightsvs. prev. Month
Avg. ’2110,885
Saudi Arabian Airlines – Number of Monthly Flights February – June 2021

Due to its slower growth rate, the share of Saudi Arabian Airlines flights in relation to total EMEA traffic decreased from almost 4.5% in February to below 3% in June.

Saudi Arabian Airlines’ Share In Relation to Total EMEA Flights
Saudi Arabian Airlines’ – Number of flights per month

Global & European Ranking By Number of Flights

As already mentioned, Saudi Arabian Airlines started with an excellent baseline into the year. Accordingly, Saudi achieved considerable and high rankings on a global and EMEA level. As a result, Saudi Arabian Airlines ranked among the top 5 EMEA airlines from February to April. Only Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, Air France, and Ryanair operated more flights than the French carrier. Also, Saudi Arabian Airlines achieved solid results on a global level and ranked in the corridor between positions 27 and 34.

MonthDomestic Rank EMEA Rank Global Rank
Average ’211631
Saudi Arabian Airlines – Global & European Ranking By Flight Numbers
Saudi Arabian Airlines Monthly Flights in 2021

Pre-COVID Benchmark

When comparing Saudia’s flight traffic to its pre-COVID level, we get some fascinating insights. Different from many other airlines, Saudia’s pullback hasn’t been that dramatic. From February to June, Saudi Arabian Airlines managed to operate almost 60% of the flights it had performed before the pandemic.

MonthFlights 2021Flights 2019’21 vs. ’19 (abs)’21 vs. ’19 (%)
February9,10216,845 7,743 54.0%
March9,78218,4298,647 53.0%
April11,18618,0646,878 61.9%
May12,09118,9566,865 63.7%
June12,26418,7626,498 65.3%
Avg. ’2110,88518,2117,32659.5%
Saudi Arabian Airlines – Number of Monthly Flights Compared to Pre-COVID
Saudi Arabian Airlines Flights 2019 compared to 2021

Saudi Arabian Airlines – Flight Punctuality

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

Monthly Puncutality Overview

Unfortunately, Saudia seemed to have considerable problems in terms of flight punctuality. As a result, Saudi Arabian Airlines didn’t manage to operate a punctuality level above 78%. On the contrary, Saudi Arabian Airlines’ average on-time performance for the months from February to June was 71.9%. That’s 10 pp. less than the average of EMEA-airlines at the same time. Also, compared to other big carriers (Ryanair >92%, Aeroflot >92%, KLM >90%), Saudia’s results in terms of punctuality seem to have room for optimization.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average ’21
EMEA Average73.9%85.7%85.6%85.2%83.6%82.8%
Saudi Arabian Airlines – Punctuality for Flights February – June 2021
Saudi Arabian Airlines punctuality in 2012

Saudi Arabian Airlines Flights — Global & European Ranking By Punctuality

Based on the poor performance, Saudi Arabian Airlines ranks in the lower third from a global point of view. Moreover, Saudi Arabian Airlines ranks among the weakest 10% of all airlines compared to EMEA airlines.

MonthDomestic RankEMEA RankGlobal Rank
Average ’21279162
Saudi Arabian Airlines – Global & European Ranking By Punctuality


Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight Cancellations

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

Monthly Cancellation Overview

Unfortunately, the weak performance in terms of punctuality continues when looking at the cancellation rate. On average, Saudia canceled 8.2% of its flights from February to June. Moreover, in April, the cancellation rate rose to 12.2%. Thus, compared to the EMEA average, Saudia’s performance is 4.3 pp. higher.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average ’21
EMEA Average6.8%2.7%2.5%4.0%3.6%3.9%
Saudi Arabian Airlines – Cancellation February – June 2021
Saudi Arabian Airlines Cancellation rate in 2021

Saudi Arabian Airlines Flights — European Ranking by Cancellations

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

MonthDomestic RankEMEA RankGlobal Rank
Average ’21279164
Saudi Arabian Airlines – 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.

What Do You Think?

We’re always happy to get your feedback. Just leave a comment below or get in touch with the author on social media.

Share this article
About the author
Author picture

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.

You might also like