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Emirates reports a massive increase in flight cancellations

Emirates airlines recently shocked its passengers with a massive increase in flight cancellations. In the second half of September, the carrier's cancellation rate skyrocket from 0.5% to almost 10%. Here are the details!

Emirates is usually known for its exceptional schedule stability

Emirates is usually known for its stable operations. However, especially in the first half of 2021, the Dubai-based carrier delivered an exceptional performance and did not cancel a single flight. We recently analyzed Emirates operations in 2021 and underpinned its excellent performance (here’s the entire report).

September seems to be a challenging month for Emirates

However, September seems to be a challenging month for Emirates. In the first half of September, the airline had reported an average of 1.6 daily cancellations. The table below outlines the details of the airline’s performance from 1st to 15th September.

DateNumber of FlightsNumber of Cancellations
01. Sep2773
02. Sep2991
03. Sep3040
04. Sep3012
05. Sep3071
06. Sep2690
07. Sep2814
08. Sep2900
09. Sep3033
10. Sep3151
11. Sep3110
12. Sep3150
13. Sep2710
14. Sep2943
15. Sep3336
Emirates — Flight Volume and Cancellations 1st – 15th September

The Disaster started on 16th September

Although the above figures show a slight increase in cancellations compared to Emirates’ regular performance, the amount of cancellations is still moderate. Especially compared to other airlines and in terms of the ongoing crisis, Emirates performance was still good.

That changed from 16th September onwards. From one day to the other, Emirate’s daily cancellations skyrocket to 32 on average. Accordingly, the airline’s flight schedule reliability dropped by almost 10% to a 90% level. Here are the details again:

DateNumber of FlightsNumber of CancellationsSchedule Reliability
16. Sep3493391%
17. Sep3603491%
18. Sep3542892%
19. Sep3573191%
20. Sep3253290%
21. Sep3303290%
22. Sep3433390%
23. Sep3503391%
Emirates — Flight Volume and Cancellations 16th – 23rd September

What’s the reason behind Emirates’ flight cancellations?

There is no breaking news that explains the peak in cancellations. Neither the airline’s website nor social media channels provide details. That’s why we took a closer look at the cancellations. Based on a quick analysis, we found out the Emirates has been canceling an almost identical set of flights since 16th September: Pre-dominantly flights to India and Saudi Arabia. Here are the routes that have been canceled:

DestinationCounty# Cancelled Round-Trips
JEDSaudi Arabia3
RUHSaudi Arabia4
DMMSaudi Arabia2
Emirates — Cancelled Flight

COVID-19 is undoubtedly one reason that comes into play. However, there haven’t been any significant changes when traveling to the above-listed countries recently. Therefore, at least from our state of information, it remains unclear why Emirates was forced to cancel those routes continuously.

Nevertheless, we will continue monitoring this issue and keep you posted.

Data Source

The shown data is based on the latest FlightFacts data. FlightFacts is a free-to-use mobile app that lets you discover the operational performance of airlines in real-time. For more information about FlightFacts, click here or visit our download page. FlightsFacts is available for Android and Apple mobiles.

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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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