Revealed: The 20 Safest Airlines in the World for 2017

What is the safest mode of transport in the world? Many argue that air travel is the answer to that question. Airlines have had their own share of incidents with the Malaysian planes vanishing in thin air and the recent PIA incident. The real question is, how safe are individual airlines for travelling?

An independent plane safety and product rating website called AirlineRatings.com conducted an annual survey, and has listed 20 of the safest airlines of the world.

Factors Considered in the Survey

The website conducted this survey based on a number of different factors, some of which are:

  • Is the airline certified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA)?
  • Does the airline exist on EU’s airline blacklist?
  • What is the airline’s crash and fleet record?
  • What is the airline’s history with incidents?
  • Does the airline’s country of origin confirm with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s eight-point safety parameter?

Do note that aside from the first airline in this list, the rest of the companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Qantas

An Australian carrier named Qantas made its way on the top of the list for the fourth time this year. They topped the list due to one simple yet astonishing reason: they haven’t had an accident at all ever since they started operating. Qantas has been operating since 96 years and is one of the oldest in the world.

No other airline in the world has an unblemished record which makes Qantas unique and by far the safest airline to travel with.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand also holds a remarkable record. It has not seen any fatal accident in the past few decades. Air New Zealand also provides some of the best services in all different classes in the plane, from economy to business class.

Airlineratings.com reviewed the business class for Air New Zealand and failed to find a single problem with it. Also has the best premium economy rating according to the same website.

Alaska Airlines

This airline is the largest in the Alaska state region of US.  It is also the first airline in the world to allow online check in and printing of boarding passes. Unfortunately, Alaska Airlines is spread thin when it comes to quality control due to its large size.

Alaska airlines doesn’t have a fatal incident on record since 2000 as well.

All Nippon Airways

Nippon Airways made it on the list as well and is one of the only two Japanese airlines on this list. It has a record of no casualties in the past 45 years. The airline is known for its consistently good quality across its fleet of aircrafts when it comes to economy class travel.

It allows a bit of leeway in the baggage department too with a 23 KG package allowed (most limit it to 20 KG or less).

British Airways

The UK based airline has not had any accidents since the last 30 years, guaranteeing a spot on this list. The airline merged with Spain based Iberia airline to form International Airline Group in 2011. There is nothing outstanding about this airline compared with other international airlines of similar caliber.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific is famous and has won several awards from international travel organizations for being the best airline in the world. You are guaranteed a full course meal, complimentary beverages and a personal seat-back screen no matter which class you travel in.

Cathay Pacific has has not suffered from a fatal tragedy since 1960, making it 56 years since it had any casualties.

Delta Air Lines

Delta is the biggest airline in the world in terms of fleet number and total passengers carried. It was also the first airline in the US to include Wi-Fi facility for domestic flights. Delta Airlines is also the only US based airline to offer in-flight entertainment on demand at every seat.

This airline has not suffered any major casualties since the last 20 years.

The rest of the airlines which made it to the list with outstanding safety records are as follows.

  • Etihad Airways
  • Finnair
  • Eva Air
  • Japan Airlines
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss International Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

How Does PIA Fare?

Airlineratings.com rates PIA with 6/7 stars in terms of safety and 3/7 for product rating.

Even though PIA was not ranked among the 20 safest airlines, it still is pretty safe to travel via PIA. Granted it has suffered its share of accidents, it is still safer in terms of the probability of an accident when compared to road based travel in Pakistan.

Air Travel Accident Statistics

In 2016, there were some high profile plane crashes across the world. Overall the number of crashes has been decreasing consistently over the last 20 years. Statistics from Aviation Safety Network (ASN) show that 2016 was the second safest year for air travel on record.

According to ASN, there were a total of 19 fatal airliner accidents which involved 325 deaths in 2016. In 2015, the total number of accidents were less at 16 but had more casualties at 560.

The world record thus far for the lowest number of airline fatalities was achieved in 2013 with 29 overall accidents.

Via Airline Ratings

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