Research tracked airlines operating global, long-haul routes, with some exceptions
The country’s flag carrier cancelled just 0.1 per cent of its planned services between May and July, according to the data from the analytics company Cirium.
In the same region, travellers with Virgin Australia experienced some of the biggest disruptions to travel.
The airline axed almost 2,200 flights in the three-month period – 5.9 per cent of its schedule, in comparison to 1.4 per cent cancelled during the same period in 2019.
KLM, Air New Zealand, Qantas and Lufthansa were among the five airlines with the highest proportion of cancelled flights in the same timeframe.
Ryanair was found to have cancelled 0.7 per cent of its scheduled flights from May-July, while British Airways cancelled 3 per cent.
The data examined a small selection of airlines across the world – based on the selection used as a competitors list by Qantas to benchmark its total shareholder return – meaning there could be lesser-known carriers with better or worse performance records.
The airlines included in the study were: Virgin Australia, KLM, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Lufthansa, British Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Iberia, Latam, Air France, Ryanair, Japan Airlines, ANA, Southwest Airlines, AirAsia, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines.
The sample also excludes airlines from China, the world’s second-largest aviation market pre-pandemic, but which remains largely closed to international flights.
The aviation industry has been struggling to keep up with the surge in post-Covid bookings due to understaffing, and analysts believe it could take months to recover.
Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said the airline’s schedule has been disrupted by severe weather and up to triple the normal rate of crew sickness.
“This certainly isn’t the experience we want our customers to be having with us and we know that every cancellation has an impact,” Mr Foran said in a statement.
The airline is now focusing on hiring more than 1,000 staff to strengthen business operations, he added.
Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David said cancellation rates are almost back to pre-Covid levels. “We are seeing improvements, but we know we’ve got more work to do,” he said.