These are the airlines and airports with the most delays and cancellations, our new study reveals

flight delay and cancellation index

We are delighted to announce the release of our Flight Delay & Cancellation Index, a brand new report analysing the airlines and airports which experience the most flight disruptions.

Looking at official data for over 65,000 flights over the course of an entire month, we have assessed which airlines and airports are most often subject to flight delays and cancellations. We also examined which airlines experience the longest average flight delay.

The airline which was found to experience the most delays is Jin Air, which saw 85.48% of their flights delayed over the period analysed. The airline with the longest average delay time is Shenzhen Airlines, which experienced an average delay time of 30.29 minutes, with over 50% of their flights experiencing a delay. Air Arabia was the airline which experienced the highest number of cancellations, with an astounding 91.63% of their flights cancelled during the time period analysed.

Meanwhile, Dubai International Airport is the departure point where passengers are most likely to experience a delay setting off, and Gimpo International Airport in South Korea is the airport where flights are most likely to arrive late. 

In the period assessed, 77.21% of flights taking off from Dubai were delayed, while 84.18% of those flying into Gimpo arrived late.

Read on below for the further details and results of the study.

The airline which was found to have the highest number of delays is South Korea’s low-budget outfit Jin Air, which saw over 85% of its flights delayed over the course of one month. This was followed by Jeju Air, another South Korean airline which experienced delays across more than 64% of their flights. In third place, Indonesia’s Lion Air also experienced delays across more than 60% of their flights while Ethiopian Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines came out as the fourth and fifth most delayed airlines. All of the five most delayed airlines experienced delays on over half of their flights over the time period assessed.

Shenzhen Airlines which was the fourth most delayed airline, also came out with the highest average delay time, with an average delay of 30.29 minutes. This is followed by Air China with an average delay time of 28.61 minutes, and Ethiopian Airlines with an average delay of 21.94 minutes. It is certainly interesting to see that the average delay time for all flights is around 30 minutes or less – which supports the Colibra knowledge that flights are rarely delayed by three hours or longer, which is the length of delay needed for a passenger to claim compensation under standard airline processes. However, with Colibra it is possible to claim compensation for any flight delayed by one hour or longer, meaning the frequency of receiving compensation is much greater.

When analysing the airlines with the most cancellations, one airline was found to have a far higher cancellation rate than others. Air Arabia, a UAE-based airline, saw over 90% of their flights cancelled during the period analysed. The rate of cancellation drops considerably from there with China Eastern Airlines having the second-highest cancellation rate at 37.62%.

We examined at which airports passengers are most likely to be delayed setting off, by looking at the % of flights delayed departing from each airport. The airport which saw the most delayed departures is Dubai International Airport, where 77.21% of flights departed late. This is followed by France’s busy Charles de Gaulle with 75.2% of departing flights leaving late, and Germany’s Frankfurt Am Main airport in third place with a delayed departure rate of 72.06%.

We also analysed the airports with the most delayed arrivals, as ultimately this is the most important part of the journey. The airport with the highest number of delayed arrivals is Gimpo International Airport in South Korea, where 84.18% of flights arrived late. This was followed by Jeju International Airport, also in South Korea which had a delayed arrival rate of 76.5% and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport in China with 70.2% of flights being delayed upon arrival.

Methodology

To compile our Flight Delay & Cancellation Index we first obtained data for a set of over 100,000 flights over the course of the full month of August 2020. We cut this data down to around 65,000 flights using only those we had all valid data points for i.e. if we did not have detail on whether a flight arrived on time we excluded this flight from the analysis.

With the remaining flights we examined the below factors:

  • % of flights delayed by airline based on arrival time by examining how many flights were delayed arriving by this airline and taking this as a % of that airline’s total flights over the time period analysed
  • % of flights cancelled by airline by examining how many flights were cancelled by this airline and taking this as a % of that airline’s total flights over the time period analysed
  • Average delay length by examining the total length of arrival delays in minutes for each airline and then taking this as an average across that airline’s total flights over the time period analysed
  • % of flights delayed at a departure airport by examining how many flights were delayed departing from this airport and taking this as a % of the total number of flights departing from that airport over the time period analysed
  • % of flights delayed arriving into an arrival airport by examining how many flights were delayed arriving into this airport and taking this as a % of the total number of flights arriving at that airport over the time period analysed

Source:

All flight data sourced from OAG. Full dataset available upon request.

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