These three airlines are less likely to cancel your flight right now

Jul 1, 2022

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Booking a flight at present probably feels like playing in a high-stakes poker game where the house always wins — the odds of getting through the whole thing intact, let’s face it, aren’t enticing.

No, things haven’t been easy at airports lately, but there could be some light at the end of the passenger boarding tunnel. With help from industry data experts Cirium we’ve crunched the numbers for all cancelled flights in the U.K for June, 2022 and found plenty of eye-opening insights — including what airlines are your best bet for a smooth journey and which to perhaps avoid.

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Let’s kick off with the villains. It’ll be little surprise that easyJet and British Airways top the list for most cancellations overall. The two carriers have cancelled tens of thousands of flights between them already this year — easyJet has axed an eye-watering 742 departures and BA have cancelled 295 flights in the past month. Both airlines have faced intense criticism for last-minute cancellations at their respective London Gatwick (LGW) and Heathrow Airport (LHR) bases.

Related: The key dates for when travel is set to be disrupted in Europe this Summer

It’s easy to conflate the two given their issues, but looking at the cancellations as a percentage of scheduled departures, easyJet, with 4.61%, is almost double the figures of BA (2.90%). This puts the low-cost carrier way out in front as the most unreliable airline in the U.K. today in terms of flight numbers last month.

EasyJet passers waiting to board at Manchester Airport (Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

295 flights for BA may sound a lot – because it is – but despite the column inches about BA cutting flights like they’re going out of fashion, the flagship British carrier managed to get 97.10% of its services in the skies as planned. Not great, but not as apocalyptic as it may feel at times either.

In actuality — based on last month’s figures — your biggest chance of seeing a flight cancelled right now is if you purchase a ticket with U.K. domestic airline Eastern Airways, which was only able to deliver 10.17% of its planned departures.  Or worse still, Germany’s Eurowings, which cut 60 of its 370 services to leave it with a hit rate of under 84%. Autsch.

Related: Are you entitled to compensation if your flight is affected by strikes?

What’s more, easyJet’s cancellation rate 4.61% is still better than BA Cityflyer (6.87%), and KLM Cityhopper (a whopping (7.27%). The two carriers may have scheduled less than 200 flights between them in all of June, but pound-for-pound they’ve been a disaster.

Don’t fret though. It’s not all doom and gloom — it may be a surprise but there are a few major airlines performing exceedingly well amidst all the current travel chaos. Fans of Virgin Atlantic will be glad to know that, near unbelievably, the airline didn’t miss a single flight in June, managing to fulfil all of its 887 scheduled departures.

Related: EasyJet confirms it will be cancelling hundreds more summer flights

Granted, Virgin’s longstanding rival BA had over 9,000 more scheduled departures from U.K. airports, but if you were comparing long-haul tickets on both stalwarts right now it’s obvious who the smart money is with regards to delivering their promised schedule.

The good news isn’t restricted to long-haul travel either. Jet2, whose boss Steve Heapy has been at the forefront of talks between airline bosses and government to avoid repeat scenes of the Easter break, cancelled just 11 of its 5,740 departures from domestic airports last month. 11!

The Leeds-based firm had the fourth biggest roster of any airline and managed to deliver 99.81% of it.

A TUI Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft is parked at Manchester Airport on March 12, 2019 (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

That’s not all. Despite the chaos it recently faced at Manchester airport (MAN) when flights were cut last-minute and police were called to help passengers, TUI suffered just 27 cancellations out of a possible 4,091 flight departures in June. This cancellation rate of just 0.66% means it’s in relatively good shape ahead of the hectic school holidays when it can expect stampedes of passengers fleeing to sunnier climates.

Elsewhere, the eternal battle between EasyJet and Ryanair looks more one-sided by the day after the Irish low-cost carrier registered only 27 cancellations from a possible 10,887 U.K. departures in the whole of June. While they may still appear mid-table in terms of total disruptions, Ryanair’s cancellations equate to just 0.25% of their total scheduled flights. This easily places them alongside Virgin Atlantic and Jet2 as one of the most reliable carriers in the U.K. right now.

Related: Will the UK government’s 22-point plan to fix the travel crisis actually work?

Check out the table for yourself…

Flights cancelled departing the UK by airline – June 2022

Operating airline Cancelled departures Scheduled departures % of cancellations on services
1. EasyJet 742 16,091 4.61%
2. British Airways 295 10,175 2.90%
3. BA Cityflyer 134 1,951 6.87%
4. Loganair 111 4,430 2.51%
5. KLM Cityhopper 93 1,280 7.27%
6. Wizz Air 72 1,688 4.27%
7. Eastern Airways 64 629 10.17%
8. Eurowings 60 370 16.22%
9. Wizz Air U.K. 30 1,022 2.94%
10. Lufthansa 28 845 3.31%
11. TUI Airways 27 4,091 0.66%
12. Ryanair 27 10,887 0.25%
13. SAS 21 467 4.50%
14. Vueling 16 919 1.74%
15. American Airlines 16 681 2.35%
16. KLM 15 438 3.42%
17. United Airlines 11 722 1.52%
18. Blue Islands 11 812 1.35%
19. Jet2 11 5,740 0.19%
20. Iberia Express 11 341 3.23%


Bottom line

If you’ve been flummoxed as to what airline to fly with this summer in the hope of avoiding the carnage and cancellations,  at least you now know it might not be the complete disaster you keep being told. Sure, it’s not great, but it could be much, much worse.

While plenty of airlines (and airports) are struggling right now, if you’re playing the odds game we’d definitely be banking with Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and Jet2 whose cancellation figures continue to bely the challenges that the industry currently faces.

Featured photo by Saquizeta / Getty Images.

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