Lufthansa is the “Pioneer” of flight cancellations in Europe | Top ranking for German airports as well


The strikes of recent months have given Lufthansa a sad first place, as the German carrier was crowned the airline with the most flight cancellations in Europe in the first quarter of 2024.

According to an analysis by Flightright, the airline has the worst record in Europe, cancelling just under 6% of its flights in the first quarter of 2024.

“Current data clearly shows that Lufthansa has the worst performance in Europe in terms of flight cancellations,” said Jan-Frederik Arnold, CEO of Flightright. According to the portal, a total of 6,803 Lufthansa flights were cancelled, or 5.99% of all Lufthansa flights, up more than 100% from the same period last year.

This also places the German market leader well above the second most frequent cancellation airline, KLM, with 2.27% (1,294 cancellations). Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines (2.25%) came third in terms of flight cancellations, followed by Eurowings (1.51%).

“The number of strikes has significantly exceeded the level of previous years,” Flightright explained, and clearly criticised the airline, stressing that “the strikes signalled Lufthansa’s inability to bring its internal problems under control.”

German airports lead the way in flight cancellations

Lufthansa’s high cancellation rate is also affecting German hubs, with Frankfurt and Munich airports recording the highest cancellation rates in Europe in the first three months of the year, with 5.7% and 3.7% respectively.

Berlin-Brandenburg airport (2.96%) and Düsseldorf airport (1.65%) follow, taking the next two places in the negative ranking.

“It is a reproach that the top four airports with the highest cancellation rates are all in Germany. The high number of flight cancellations has a direct impact on passengers’ travel plans and leads to delays throughout German aviation. It is an indication that both airlines and airport operators are facing significant challenges due not only to external factors, such as weather conditions, but also to internal issues such as staff shortages and labour disputes,” Dr Arnold continued.

It is therefore not surprising that the cancellation rate in Germany is the highest in Europe, with an average of around 4% of cancelled departures. This is followed by Austria (1.38%) in second place and the Netherlands (1.32%) in third place.

What is particularly striking this year is the difference between Germany and the other countries, as the cancellation rate in Germany is almost three times higher than in the next closest country, Austria.

Lufthansa announced on Monday a quarterly loss of 849 million euros, citing “various strikes”. According to the airline, the wage disputes will also have a negative impact on its operating result in the second quarter from April to June, probably by 100 million euros.

Dr Arnold warned air travellers to be prepared for further delays and cancellations, particularly during the peak summer travel season.

He explained that delivery problems with the new Boeing and Airbus aircraft could lead to congestion in the aircraft fleet, which could actually cause disruption to flight schedules.

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *