2022 Already Has More Flight Cancelations Than The Whole Of 2021

In the global aviation industry, chaos is everywhere, and a new statistics report obtained by Newsweek successfully establishes the intensity of said chaos in recent times. In the United States, flight cancellations in the first half of 2022 have already exceeded total cancellations in all 12 months of the last year. As the worldwide disruptions show no sign of curtailing any time soon, inconvenience to passengers is poised to increase. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.

Record high flight cancellations

The COVID-19 pandemic has made flight cancellations and delays a daily affair, but for cancellations to be so high in a “non-pandemic” year is relatively surprising. In totality, 2021 saw 121,552 flights canceled. Data from January to June this year places cancellation figures at 121,918. Keep in mind that these figures only include flights that originate, end, or are within the US.


If disruptions continue as is, the numbers for this year will quickly overtake 2019 figures in just a few more months. However, going over the 298,020 mark posted by 2020 can pose a bit of a challenge. But hey, where there is a will, there is a way.

2022 cancellations will soon overtake total flight cancellations in 2019. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Airline-wise cancellations

In terms of the highest number of flights canceled, American Airlines topped the list with 17,138 total cancellations, which make up around 3.3% of the airline’s entire schedule of 515,801 flights. Southwest Airlines is next with 15,664 flight cancellations out of its total 629,627 scheduled flights, followed by Republic Airways, which canceled 10,133 of 179,207 scheduled services.

In the fourth position, we have Republic Airways with 10,133 cancellations. However, since the airline only had 179,207 scheduled flights, its total cancellations make up 5.7%, the highest of any carrier in the top ten. Republic is followed by Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, both of which have canceled roughly the same number of flights. Delta stood at 9,064 cancellations while United was just behind at 8,642. Below is a complete list of the top ten airlines with the most flight cancellations:

Airline Total flights scheduled Total cancellations % flights canceled
American Airlines Inc. 515.801 17.138 3.3%
Southwest Airlines Co. 629.627 15.664 2.5%
Republic Airways 179.207 10.133 5.7%
Delta Air Lines, Inc. 489.738 9.064 1.9%
United Air Lines Inc. 372.406 8.642 2.3%
SkyWest Airlines 386.061 8.559 2.2%
JetBlue Airways 168.276 7.506 4.5%
Endeavor Air, Inc. 128.112 4,677 3.7%
PSA Airlines 119.816 4.467 3.7%
Spirit Airlines, Inc. 127.493 4.011 3.1%

American Airlines canceled the highest number of flights of any US airline in 2022. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

No sign of stopping

While the above data is only till June 2022, the numbers will likely see an abnormal uptick if the first week of July is considered. The holiday weekend in the US saw around 250-300 flight cancellations on average due to heightened travel demand and a shortage of essential personnel to operate flights. At the time of writing this article, figures from FlightAware show 83 flight cancellations within, into, or out of the US today.

Flight cancellations are the absolute worst, but nobody likes it when their flight is delayed either. This fourth of July weekend, over 10,000 flights have been delayed in the US. FlightAware data shows an additional 3,515 delayed US flights yesterday and around 300 more today.

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