We're more than half way through the year, it's hot and everyone's craving a getaway. But after a slew of cancellations from major airlines, holidaymakers are anxiously counting down the days until take off, hoping their flight isn’t one of the ones affected.
The aviation industry has struggled to keep up with the sheer volume of travellers now that COVID restrictions are on their way out - largely due to staff cutbacks during the pandemic.
Airlines have been cancelling thousands of flights with some only notifying passengers on the day, and others making huge cuts to their upcoming schedules.
British Airways made the headlines last week after announcing that a further 10,300 flights between August and the end of October are now off the cards. It’s also operating 650 less flights for the remainder of July.
Updated analysis from travel data firm Mabrian shows that BA has now overtaken Turkish Airlines when it comes to cancelling the highest proportion of flights in the first half of July.
But it’s still not the biggest reviser of its schedule. That dubious honour goes to low cost German carrier Eurowings.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” sales and marketing director Carlos Cendra says regarding the travel chaos.
Using figures from flight data aggregator Cirium, Mabrian analysts looked at how many flights were scheduled to take off between 1 and 15 July as of 14 June, compared to the same period three weeks later on 5 July.
EasyJet has also cancelled a significant number of flights during this time.
But while easyJet’s overall number of flights cancelled is 1,494, as a percentage of their air capacity the data shows this represents just 6 per cent of flights - a little over one in 20 flights.
Eurowings has the highest ratio of cancellations, almost double easyJet’s record at 12 per cent.
As Cendra explains, "this is connected to the share of seats that Eurowings had scheduled from the airports that have more saturation problems.
“For example, Eurowings had almost 5 per cent of its flights scheduled from London [considering only European flights], meanwhile Lufthansa had only 3 per cent of its flights from London.”
Turkish Airlines comes third in the rankings, slashing 7 per cent of its services from 1 to 15 July.
Though it will be cold comfort to anyone whose travel plans are in disarray, “we must keep some perspective on this overall situation” Cendra added.
When Mabrian looked at the overall numbers in terms of each airline’s overall capacity, the percentage of cancellations for most companies was relatively low.
Which country has the highest number of cancelled flights?
Holidaymakers from Germany are most likely to be impacted by the airport chaos, Mabrian’s data shows.
Between June 14 and 5 July, 1,482 flights scheduled for the first half of July were scrapped. This is a total of 6 per cent of all outbound flights from the country.
It also represents a chunky 27 per cent of total cancellations of flights with their origin or destination in Europe.
"German connectivity has been slower than most in recovering to 2019 levels so this could slow the recovery further," Cendra comments.
The UK ranks second, with 1,060 flights cancelled over this period, equating to 3.2 per cent of outbound flights.
In total, 5,464 flights within Europe have recently been cancelled from 1 to 15 July. Italy, Spain and France had the next highest shares of that total. Denmark can take some pride in only losing around 100 of its scheduled services.
As with the airlines analysis, the data does not include flights cancelled at the last minute and is instead based on scheduling.