KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 777-300.

Dutch carrier KLM has cancelled the most flights compared to other major European airlines. 
KLM cancelled 5.8% of flights according to a list of 19 competitors, reported by Bloomberg.
Compensation for flight delays cost the airline over $70 million during the second quarter of 2022.

Air passengers globally have faced a summer of flight chaos, but those traveling with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have had it the worst. The Franco-Dutch carrier is Europe’s worst airline for flight delays, according to data published by aviation research firm Cirium.

KLM axed 5.8% of scheduled flights during the three months to July 26, according to Cirium’s data, which was reported by Bloomberg. The data compared a select list of 19 airlines from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

By contrast, the next worst impacted airline was Lufthansa, which canceled just over 3% of flights in the same period.

The data comes days after KLM’s owner Air France-KLM Group revealed, in its second quarter results, that compensating customers for flight delays had cost it 70 million euros ($71 million) during the second quarter of 2022.

Airlines globally have struggled to cope as pent-up travel demand rebounded post-pandemic, leading to a spate of flight delays, cancellations, and a backlog of unclaimed baggage. 

KLM blamed labor shortages at airports in Europe and the US as the primary cause of its operational difficulties. The airline has hub at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, which is among the top 10 European airports in terms of flight delays, according to the online travel agency Hopper. 

In July, KLM announced it was canceling up to 20 flights a day until the end of August, and limited the sale of its cheapest tickets in order to minimize disruption. 

Benjamin Smith, Air-France-KLM group CEO, said in the filing that while the group had prepared for pre-pandemic demand levels, the airlines are not immune to “major operational challenges” happening globally. 

“Customer satisfaction is at the top of our priorities and we know we have not fully been able to deliver the quality of service that has come to be expected from us,” Smith said.

KLM did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for further comment on the data. 

Air France fared much better than its Dutch sibling, canceling 0.9% of flights during the same period, per Cirium data, reported by Bloomberg. 

While the data only represents a small subsection of the world’s total aviation sector, the list of 19 major airlines mirrors the list of competitors that Qantas uses as a benchmark for its performance.

Here’s the list in full, ranked worst-performing to best-performing:

Virgin Australia: 5.9%

KLM: 5.8%

Air New Zealand: 3.7%

Qantas: 3.3%

Lufthansa: 3.1%

British Airways: 3.0%

American Airlines: 2.6%

United Airlines: 2.6%

Delta Airlines: 2.5%

Iberia: 1.4%

Latam Airlines: 1.2%

Air France: 0.9%

Ryanair: 0.7%

Japan Airlines: 0.6%

ANA: 0.5%

Southwest Airlines: 0.5%

AirAsia: 0.3%

Cathay Pacific: 0.3%

Singapore Airlines: 0.1%

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