The worst airports and airlines for delays and cancellations
If you are still planning to head off on a flight this summer and haven’t booked yet, you may want to choose your airline and airport carefully. There is definitely a big difference between travel providers in terms of performance. In regular times you’d expect most airlines to achieve an on-time performance of >80%. At the moment, some are struggling to get into double digits! Of course, airports are playing a big part in this with a lack of security staff causing long queues. According to flight data analysts Cirium, average delays on departures from UK airports are up 71% in June 2022, compared to June 2019.
I’d expect things to improve as we head into autumn as there are less people travelling and staff numbers gradually increase. However, if you are mulling over a few destinations, it’s worth considering whether any of the airports appear on the naughty list!
Looking at the lists, not much of it is a big surprise, particularly Amsterdam Schipol, which has been so badly affected this summer that KLM was refusing connecting passengers to check luggage due to the lack of luggage handlers on one day. Icelandair are even flying in their own baggage handlers on their flights to the Dutch capital!
Worst airports by Flight Aware
The data is based on flights 26 May – 19 July. We don’t tend to hear much about Canadian airport troubles in the UK, but with Air Canada also on the worst performing airlines, it looks like Canada is really struggling at the moment. It is also worth bearing in mind that Canada has now brought back random Covid testing for those fully vaccinated.
Most Delayed: top 10 world airports for delays this summer with percentages of flights delayed:
- Canada: Toronto Pearson International Airport – 52.5%
- Germany: Frankfurt Airport – 45.4%
- France: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport – 43.2%
- Netherlands: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – 41.5%
- United Kingdom: Gatwick Airport – 41.1%
- United Kingdom: Heathrow Airport – 40.5%
- Germany: Munich International Airport – 40.4%
- Greece: Athens International Airport – 37.9%
- Australia: Sydney Airport – 34.2%
- United States: Orlando International Airport – 33.4%
Unsurprisingly China is prominent on the charts due to multiple lockdowns and their draconian travel policy. But it is good to see that the UK does not feature anywhere. So despite the media’s doom and gloom, the chances of having your flight cancelled are pretty small. Even with the worst-performing airline, there is a 93% chance that your flight will go ahead.
Worst airlines based on percentage of schedule cancelled
Here is a league table put together by The Telegraph based on flights from the UK. The airlines at the bottom are the best performing and those at the top have cancelled the most flights. A similar survey by Sky News using OAG data showed that of airlines for flights worldwide, excluding China, Qantas, Air Canada, Jet Blue and KLM had the most cancellations. Of course, none of these reflects how last minute the cancellations were, which is one of the most important measures in my opinion.
The worst performing Wizz Air had 6.84% of its scheduled flights from the UK, compared to none for Vueling and Tui. Obviously, Vueling only have a small schedule from the UK, which helps.
- Wizz Air
- British Airways (4.27% cancelled)
- American Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Aer Lingus
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Turkish Airlines
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