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Scandinavian Airlines – Flights, Punctuality & Cancellations in 2021

The biggest operational analysis of Sweden's, Denmark's, and Norway's flag carrier. We've analyzed and benchmarked SAS-Scandinavian Airlines' flights, punctuality, and cancellation rates in 2021. Here are the results!

Scandinavian Airlines — Flights, Punctuality & Cancellations in 2021

We put together some of the most relevant data about Scandinavian Airlines’ flight rankings, punctuality reports, and cancellation rates and performance in 2021. Moreover, we benchmarked the airline’s flight performance against regional and global averages. Here’s what’s contained in detail:

Scandinavian Airlines — Flight Analysis

We kick off the analysis with details about Scandinavian 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. So let’s get into it!

Monthly Flight Overview

Corona has massively impacted all Airlines, including Scandinavian Airlines’ operations. As a result, compared to normal operations, the Scandinavian airline performed a tiny amount of flights at the beginning of the year. However, Scandinavian has been able to increase the monthly number of flights constantly. Scandinavia’s flag carrier has grown from 3,800 flights in February to more than 7,600 flights in June.

Although SAS’s number of flights has grown steadily, its share in terms of overall EMEA traffic hasn’t increased during the entire period. Whereas SAS could increase the number of flights from February to June, it’s share within the EMEA region remained stable with 2% on average for the entire period.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average 21′
Scandinavian Airlines- Number of Monthly Flights February – June 2021
Scandinavian Airlines’ Share in Relation to Total EMEA Flights
Scandinavian Airlines- Flights per month

Global & European Ranking By Number of Flights

Again due to COVID, Scandinavian Airlines ranked 59th among the world’s biggest airlines by flights. Nevertheless, the carrier has managed to improve its position constantly and ranked 53rd in June. Compared to other airlines from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Scandinavian has struggled to enter the top 5. In June, Ryanair (38,000), Turkish Airlines (26,000), Aeroflot (23,000), Air France (22,000), Lufthansa (16,000) and KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines (12,000).

Month Domestic RankEMEA RankGlobal Rank
Average 21′21555
Scandinavian Airlines- Global & European Ranking By Flight Numbers

Pre-COVID Benchmark

Besides the comparison to other airlines and the development during the last months, it is essential to compare this year’s flight figures to pre-COVID results. Sadly, this shows how far Scandinavian Airlines (And of course other airlines too) is aways from its pre-COVID level. Compared to February 2019, Scandinavian airlines operated almost 18,000 fewer flights in February 2021. In other words, SAS operated approximately 17.5% of the flights it had operated in February 2019. However, go to see that SAS’s traffic is slowly recovering. In June 2021, SAS operated 30% of flights compared to June 2019.

Scandinavian Airlines- Flight Punctuality

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

Monthly Punctuality Overview

Despite the relatively low number of flights, SAS hasn’t achieved to constantly increase punctuality from February to June. In the month of February, the OTP was 76.2%, during the month of March it increased more than 15% reaching an OTP of 89.4%. During April it decreased once again to 84,8% and in May it reached its highest level to 91.4%. During the month of June, it decreased again to 88.1%. However, a positive aspect is that SAS’s average on-time performance is better than the EMEA average, not only in total but during each of the months, managed to maintain an OTP above average. Compared to other big carriers (Ryanair >92%, Aeroflot >92%, KLM >90%), SAS results in terms of punctuality seem to have room for optimization still.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average 21′
Scandinavian Airlines76.2%89.4%84.8%91.4%88.1%86%
EMEA Average73.9%81%82.5%82.2%80.2%80%
Scandinavian Airlines- Punctuality for Flights February – June 2021

Global & European Ranking By Punctuality

Based on the variating performance, SAS ranks in the midfield from a global point of view. Moreover, compared to EMEA airlines, SAS ranks on position 60th.

Scandinavian Airlines – Flight Cancellations

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

Monthly Cancellation Overview

In terms of flight cancellations, SAS achieved very good results. The airline managed to operate its flights with a cancellation rate below 1%. Moreover, in March, April, and June, SAS’s cancellation rate varied between 0.2% and 0.9%.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average 21′
Scandinavian Airlines0.4%0.5%0.5%0.2%0.9%0.5%
EMEA Average7.3%4.5%2.8%3.8%5.2%4.7%
Scandinavian Airlines – Cancellation Rate February – June 2021

European Ranking by Cancellations

Compared to EMEA and global airlines, the airline achieved lower results: Globally, SAS ranks 112th and EMEA-wise on position 71st on average. However, we can see an alerting figure during the month of June as the ranking decreases significantly.

MonthDomestic RankEMEA RankWorld Rank
Average 21′371112
Scandinavian Airlines- Global & EMEA 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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