A glaring staff shortage forcing giant Heathrow to halt ticket sales; strong upswing in traffic (the famous revenge trip) after months of restraint due to Covid-19; a nightmare for luggage never caught in such chaos; Bosses of low-cost airlines who require their pilots to fly even when they’re exhausted…
Flying has become a real obstacle course for some travelers in recent weeks. And again, if they do manage to get on board, the cancellation of tens of thousands of flights leaves many passengers and vacationers with their beaks (but not their feet) in the water.
To avoid disappointing its readers, Bloomberg used data from Cirium to rank the worst (and best) airlines in terms of flight cancellations over the past three months. Far from exhaustive, as it only includes nineteen major companies, the list does offer some pointers as to which ones to avoid if you at least have the opportunity.
Oh flight, stop your time
At the top of the ranking is Virgin Australia. The southern company canceled nearly 2,200 flights, or 5.9% of scheduled flights, compared to 1.4% of canceled trips during the same period in 2019. An operational disaster that cost it $70 million in compensation for injured passengers would have .
If Virgin Australia might not be the company you’re most likely to borrow in the coming months, it’s not the same for KLM, which is ubiquitous in Europe. The latter comes second in that dismal ranking with 5.8% canceled flights – and like other companies of its caliber the trend is set to show no improvement, with British Airways for example announcing 10,000 cancellations.
Meanwhile, Qantas grounded 3.3% of its flights, Lufthansa 3.1%, British Airways 3%, American Airlines and United Airlines 2.6%. Air France doesn’t fare too badly with 0.9% of canceled trips, as does Ryanair (0.7%) – which still represents a mass of disappointed travelers given the number of flights scheduled by the two companies.
As Bloomberg notes, Cirius used a calculation method that the company Qantas uses in the reports it provides to its shareholders. Remember that hundreds of companies, some even less true to their promises than those mentioned, are not included in this ranking.
Surprised by the traffic recovery, the airlines that weathered the crisis with drastic wage cuts are now urgently trying to hire ground or flight crew or even pilots (who have become a scarce commodity) to escape this hell. In the meantime, you might be the one to toast – but not at 30,000 feet.