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American Airlines — Flights, Punctuality & Cancellations in 2021

Here's the most comprehensive and latest operational assessment of the world's largest airline: American Airlines. We've analyzed available data, calculated and assessed American Airlines' flights, punctuality, and cancellation rates in 2021. Here are the results!

American Airlines — Flights, Punctuality & Cancellations in 2021

Since we already analyzed some of Europe’s (Lufthansa, Ryanair, Air France, etc.), Middle East’s (Emirates, Qatar, etc.), and Asia’s (China Eastern, Air China, etc.) biggest carriers, we thought it is time to have a look at U.S. airlines. Therefore, we took a deep dive into one of the world’s biggest airlines and checked flight rankings, punctuality reports, and cancellation rates. Moreover, we benchmarked American Airlines’ flight performance against regional and global averages. Here’s what’s contained in detail:

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

Flight Punctuality
Monthly Punctuality Overview
Global & Asia Ranking By Punctuality

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

American Airlines – Flight Analysis

Let’s kick off the analysis with details about American Airlines flights from February to June 2021. Then, we also provide information on the carrier’s share in North American traffic on top of the overall numbers. Moreover, we compare the airline’s ranking to other North American and global airlines. Finally, and as the icing on the cake, we set American Airlines’ flight performance in 2021 into relation to pre-COVID results from 2019 — and we can already promise some exciting results!

Monthly Flight Overview

Compared to other global airlines (e.g., Lufthansa, Emirates), American Airlines started the year with an enormous amount of flights: In February, the U.S. carrier already operated more than 100,000 flights. And by the way: At that time, American Airlines was the world’s only airline that operated more than 100,000 flights. However, and more important, American Airlines has been able to grow its flight volume constantly. From February to June, American Airlines add almost 75% of additional flights. As a result, American Airlines operated 173,000 flights in June.

MonthNo. Flightsvs. prev. Month
Avg. ’21140,79113.1
American Airlines – Number of Monthly Flights February – June 2021

The below chart on the right illustrates American Airlines’ continuous and robust growth from February to June. The chart on the left provides information about American Airlines’ share concerning total North American flights. On average, American Airlines had a 25% share of total traffic.

American Airlines Share Concerning Total North American flights Feb - Jun '21
American Airlines Share Concerning Total North American flights Feb – Jun ’21
American Airlines - Number of flights per month Feb - Jun '21
American Airlines – Number of flights per month Feb – Jun ’21

Domestic, North American & Global Ranking By Flight Volume

When looking at the ranking by flight volume, the story is pretty straightforward. American Airlines has been the world’s biggest airline by flight volume.

MonthDomestic Rank North America Rank Global Rank
Average ’21111
American Airlines – Domestic, North American & Global Ranking By Flight Volume
American Airline average monthly flights in 2021

Pre-COVID Benchmark

Here’s one of the most exciting parts of this analysis. When comparing American Airlines’ flight volume to a pre-Covid level, the results look entirely different to many other airlines (e. g. Lufthansa, Emirates, or KLM). This is because, without disturbance, American Airlines constantly added more flights to its schedule every month. As a result, the gap to the pre-COVID level is continually getting smaller. Accordingly, American Airlines’ pre-COVID gap was only 14.8% in June.

MonthFlights 2021Flights 2019’21 vs. ’19 (abs)’21 vs. ’19 (%)
February100,186174,67074,484 42.6%
March133,329198,72065,391 32.9%
April140,317191,49951,182 26.7%
May156,662204,11247,450 23.2%
June173,464203,58230,118 14.8%
Avg. ’21140,791194,51653,725 27.6%
American Airlines – Flight Volume Compared to Pre-COVID
American Airlines flights compared to pre-covid

American Airlines – Flight Punctuality

In the following chapter, we take a deeper look at American Airlines’ flight punctuality. Again, we benchmark the North American and global averages and provide a domestic, regional, and international ranking.

Monthly Puncutality Overview

American Airlines operated at an acceptable punctuality level despite the enormous number of flights, monthly growth, and COVID-related challenges. Compared to the global average, American Airlines performed 3.3 pp better. Moreover, American Airlines performed better than the North American average.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average ’21
American Airlines78.7%89.0%88.8%84.9%74.4%83.2%
North America Average75.1%84.3%84.9%85.3%76.8%81.3%
Global Average77.7%82.5%81.9%80.9%76.8%79.9%
American Airlines – Flight Punctuality February – June 2021
American Airlines Flight Punctuality in 2021

American Airlines Flights – Domestic, North American & Global Ranking By Punctuality

When looking at American Airlines’ ranking in terms of punctuality, the story is pretty easy again: Compared to global, other North American airlines, and on a worldwide level, American Airlines ranks in the midfield.

MonthDomesticNorth AmericaGlobal
Average ’2159113
American Airlines – Domestic, North American & Global Ranking By Punctuality


American Airlines – Flight Cancellations

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

Monthly Cancellation Overview

Light and shadow but a solid overall performance — that’s probably the headline that describes American Airlines’ regularity performance. American Airlines shows an outstanding performance in March and April, resulting in a cancellation rate of 0.7% resp. 0.6%. However, on the other side, it seems that American Airlines had some problems in February. As a result, the airline had to cancel 7% of its flights.

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneMonthly Average ’21
American Airlines7.0%0.7%0.6%1.1%2.5%2.4%
North American Average10.4%2.7%2.8%1.8%2.0%3.9%
Global Average8.7%6.1%6.3%7.7%8.9%7.5%
American Airlines – Cancellation February – June 2021
American Airlines Flight Cancellation Rate in 2021

American Airlines Flights — Domestic, North American & Global Ranking by Cancellations

MonthDomesticNorth AmericaGlobal
Average ’21711108
American Airlines – Domestic, North American & Global 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 300 flights in the respective month. However, the global benchmark includes all tracked flights. On average, 210 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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