Compared to the low-cost carriers, many networks and flag-carrier have been struggling recently to fly out of the crisis. We’ve checked August data regarding flight volume, punctuality, and cancellation of four flag carriers: KLM, British Airways, Air France, and SAS — here are the results.

Many airlines increased their flight volume in August. With more people being vaccinated and the peak of summer holidays, demand looked better than previous months. However, during the last months, it seemed that carriers such as Ryanair, easyJet, Vueling, and Wizz Air had managed the crisis more efficiently. Therefore, we wanted to know how Europe’s famous flag carriers performed in August. In this context, we selected — and looked at the flight volume, their punctuality, and the number of cancellations of KLM, British Airways, Air France, and SAS. Here are the results!

Europe’s Flga-Carrier — Flight Volume Benchmark

Overall, the four flag carriers airlines operated 63,800 flights in August (148,516). As a result, the combined volume is still below Ryanair’s flight volume in August. Nevertheless, compared to July, the carriers grew by more than 30%. However, the growth rate between the four airlines differs vastly. While KLM and British Airways recorded a record growth rate of more than 37%, SAS grew by only 10%. Moreover, Air France couldn’t increase its volume in August and operated 10% fewer flights than in July.

However, when looking at the flight volume of the four airlines, Air France remains the biggest of the four airlines with 22,400 flights. In August, Ryanair operated more than 70,000 flights — more than any other airline in Europe. Due to immense growth, KLM operated more than 17,000 flights for the first time since the pandemic hit the aviation industry. British Airways ended the month with more than 11,000 flights and SAS with almost 13,000.

KLM – Flight Volume August 2021
British Airways – Flight Volume August 2021
Air France – Flight Volume August 2021
SAS Scandinavian Airlines – Flight Volume August 2021

Europe’s Flag-Carrier — Punctuality Benchmark

In August, all of the four flag carriers delivered a solid on-time performance. With 94.6% punctual flights, British Airways delivers the best performance of the four. Nevertheless, KLM with 93.4%, Air France with 91.3%, and SAS with 92.9% are all way above the European and global average.

Moreover, it is essential to mention that British Airways, Air France, and SAS improved their annual OTP average massively.

Europe Flag-Carrier: KLM - On-Time Performance August 2021
KLM – On-Time Performance August 2021
Europe Flag-Carrier: British Airways - On-Time Performance August 2021
British Airways – On-Time Performance August 2021
Europe Flag-Carrier: Air France - On-Time Performance August 2021
Air France – On-Time Performance August 2021
Europe Flag-Carrier: SAS Scandinavian Airlines - On-Time Performance August 2021
SAS Scandinavian Airlines – On-Time Performance August 2021

Europe’s Flag-Carrier — Cancellation Benchmark

When looking at cancellations and the reliability of the flag carriers, SAS stands out negatively. In August, the Scandinavian carrier had to cancel more than 300 flights resulting in a very high cancellation rate of 2.4%. British Airways canceled 50, Air France 82, and KLM 112 flights. Nevertheless, due to the higher amount of flights, the cancellation rate is much better than SAS’s.

Europe Flag-Carrier: KLM - Cancellation Rate August 2021
KLM – Cancellation Rate August 2021
Europe Flag-Carrier: British Airways - Cancellation Rate August 2021
British Airways – Cancellation Rate August 2021
Europe Flag-Carrier: Air France - Cancellation Rate August 2021
Air France – Cancellation Rate August 2021
Europe Flag-Carrier: SAS Scandinavian Airlines - Cancellation Rate August 2021
SAS Scandinavian Airlines – Cancellation Rate August 2021

What’s Your Opinion?

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Benjamin is a content-maniac, music-lover, aviation-enthusiast, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions to change the way airlines, airports, and aviators use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry and working with renowned airlines + airports worldwide.

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