Ranking the Safest Airlines in the world is always going to be difficult and controversial.
A lot depends on what data is used; how it is gathered and interpreted; how relevant it is; and what period of time it covers.
The information collected includes:
So here are three Safest Airlines "Top 10"s from various sources:
German aviation magazine Safety Index Aero International have published their 2013 Top 60 safest airlines list based on full-year statistics provided by JACDEC (Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre established in 1973):
*(ppy = passengers per year).
JACDEC recorded 251 deaths in commercial airplanes globally in 2013 making it one of the safest years for flying in decades.
Most deaths occurred in smaller airlines on regional routes which JACDEC blames on "the need to master more takeoffs and landings even in critical weather conditions and on smaller airfields" and was often due to "human error".
JACDEC goes on to estimate that "The chance to be involved on board one of the major airlines in a serious accident was less than 1/100th of a percent", and that IATA estimates that over 3 billion passengers were carried in 2013.
* Up to the minute reports on the location and severity of the latest airline safety incidents.
SkyTrax describes itself as "The world's largest Airline and Airport review site... (reviewing) 681 airlines and 725 airports".
SkyTrax collected "5 million Trusted customer reviews and trip reports" from air travellers and surveyed 28 million passengers from over 160 different countries to find which airlines best met their expectations. Travellers were questioned about all aspects of their flight experience (e.g. customer service, cabin safety standards, age of aircraft fleet, etc).
*(ppy = passengers per year).
Some other airline's rankings:
11. Qantas Airways... Australia...(46 million).
15. Virgin Australia... Australia...(18 million ppy).
17. British Airways... United Kingdom... (42 million).
49. Delta Airlines... USA... (130 million).
53. United Airlines... USA... (105 million).
89. American Airlines... USA... (149 million).
This TOP 10 list once again is sure to stir up a lot of debate. The previous four years haven't included even one American or European airline (although one European airline did make it this year), with younger Asian and Middle-Eastern carriers continuing to dominate.
And more so when the Geneva (Switzerland) based Air Transport Rating Agency (ATRA) brought out their own Holistic Safety Rating Top 10 for Safest Airlines in 2012 (in alphabetical order):
This Top 10 Safest Airlines is derived "From a dataset of the 92 most important airlines in terms of financial revenues", and will also undoubtedly stir up a lot of debate. Especially as it contains only American and European airlines... and not one Asian or Middle Eastern airline!
With so many complicated factors to be considered it's unlikely we'll ever get agreement on just one list of the world's Top 10 Safest Airlines.
It would seem that the younger, newer airlines seem to have the advantage over the huge, older, longer established airlines.
Airlines like America's Delta Air Lines (which carries 162 million passengers each year in 744 aircraft), United Airlines (145 million in 707 aircraft), American Airlines (105 million in 624 aircraft), or Southwest Airlines (carrying 130 million in 549 aircraft) may find it harder to adapt to rapidly changing markets.
But the reassuring thing is this... most of the airlines that don't make it into the Safest Airlines Top 10 are still very, very, safe.
And Air Travel will only continue to get safer.
... "Just how safe is flying?"
... "Which are the safest seats in a plane?"
... "Which are the safest airlines?"
... "Am I healthy enough to travel?"
... "What to do if a passenger near you is sick?"
... "What Medical assistance can you expect on a plane?"
Go to Airplane Safety for the answers.
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