Travelers choose their flights for different reasons. They may book a certain flight because it’s direct with no layovers, they get free baggage, or, most importantly, because the price is right. But there’s another vastly important reasons to pay attention to the airline for your preferred route before you click and pay: safety.
Of course, the goal is not just to book a cheap flight when you’re traveling or going on vacation, but to actually land in one piece after you take off. Here’s the great news – 2017 was actually the safest year for commercial aviation on record! It’s true, as there were exactly zero accident deaths for commercial airline passenger. However, there were 44 deaths by plane crash in 2017, but those were for commercial cargo and other non-passenger flights. That equates to the safest year on record ever for flying.
But that doesn’t mean that all airlines were perfectly safe, nor does it indicate that certain airlines have a far better track record for safety than others.
The 2018 Airline Safety Ratings
According to the comprehensive travel industry reports, here are the 20 safest airlines in the world in 2018, as awarded by the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO),. They all received a perfect 7 out of 7 rating for safety, and obviously had no injuries, crashes, or fatalities in 2017.
They are listed in alphabetical order since they all have perfect safety records (so none is “more perfect” than the others).
- Air New Zealand
- Alaska Airlines
- All Nippon Airways
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Etihad Airways
- EVA Air
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Japan Airlines
- Royal Jordanian Airlines
- Scandinavian Airline System
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
Obviously, we want to try and book a flight on one of those 20 airlines whenever possible. But if we knew which are the safest, shouldn’t be aware which airlines are the least safe, too?
After all, it’s just as important to avoid these airlines with the worst safety records in 2017!
- Air Koryo (the North Korean airline that travels only to Russia and China using Soviet-era hand-me-down aircraft)
- Bluewing Airlines
- Trigana Air Service
The next four (most dangerous) airlines are all Nepalese:
- Buddha Air
- Nepal Airlines
- Tara Air
- Yeti Airlines
The good news is that you’ve probably never heard of these small and far-off exotic airlines, but if you happen to be bopping around mainland Asia, it’s still good to know which ones are sketchy at best.
All of that being said, which airlines are routinely recognized as the safest in the world, year after year? For the fifth year in a row, Australia’s Qantas leads the list of the least dangerous commercial flights in the world. Aussie airlines Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand also make the list of top five safest in the world.
For discount airlines, Jetstar – another Australian airline – is the only outfit ranked on the list of top 10 safest in the world.
By the way, you may be wondering what the worst year in history was for passenger accidents and death? That was in 1972 when there were 2,469 deaths for only 9.million departures! In our most recent years, 2014 saw 18 commercial airline accidents and 961 deaths.
Keep flying and stay safe!
Related reading: what to pack for long distance travel.