What are the world's safest airlines for 2018?

There's never been a safer time to hop on a plane.The Aviation Safety Network has revealed that 2017 was the ...

Posted: Jan 3, 2018 2:39 PM
Updated: Jan 3, 2018 2:39 PM

There's never been a safer time to hop on a plane.

The Aviation Safety Network has revealed that 2017 was the safest year in aviation history.

And while President Trump took credit on Tuesday for the US safety record, in a tweet stating that he'd been "very strict on Commercial Aviation," airline accidents have actually been on a consistent global decline since 1992.

It's all the more impressive when you take into account that 2017 is also likely to be the busiest year ever for commercial flights. Close to 3.7 billion people flew in 2016, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization, with numbers rising steadily year-on-year for the last decade.

There are a number of factors contributing to this success, including the development of new technology and new airplanes, and changes to flight crew training and global regulations.

'Best of the best'

To celebrate those leading the way, Australia-based aviation analysis website AirlineRatings.com has just released its annual list of the world's safest airlines.

Of the 409 airlines it monitors, 20 stand out as the "best of the best," says AirlineRatings.com's editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas.

These 20 airlines from across Asia, Europe and the United States, he says, are "always at the forefront of safety innovation, operational excellence and the launching of new more advanced aircraft."

From 2014 to 2017, AirlineRatings.com named Australian airline Qantas the world's safest airline, and once again AirlineRatings.com has commended it for being "the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years" without a single fatality in the jet era.

"But Qantas is not alone," says Thomas. "Long-established airlines such as Hawaiian and Finnair have perfect records in the jet era."

Standout in safety

This year, AirlineRatings.com has decided to honor the top 20 airlines on equal footing.

The top 20 for 2018, in alphabetical order are:

Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.

Notably absent from the 2018 list are the US airlines Delta and United. In April 2017, Delta's enviable record of years of reliable service was blotted by a five-day meltdown in which more than 3,200 flights were canceled in response to storms.

In the same month, United Airlines' reputation took a serious battering when a video went viral of a passenger being dragged off an overbooked flight.

New entries on this year's list are Dubai-based Emirates and China's Hainan Airlines.

Response to incidents

To arrive at its top 20, AirlineRatings.com takes into account safety factors including audits from aviation's governing bodies and lead associations, government audits, airlines' records of crashes and serious incidents and fleet age.

Thomas says it only looks at serious incidents when making its determinations.

"All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems, he says. "And it is the way the flight crew handles incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one."

He cites Qantas' excellent response to a 2010 incident in Singapore when a Rolls Royce engine shattered after an A380 took off.

"The fault was entirely with a fault in manufacture but the pilot skills of the Qantas crew saved the plane according to Australia's crash investigators," says Thomas.

Best low-cost carriers

AirlineRatings.com has also announced the low-cost airlines it says have the best safety records.

In alphabetical order, the top 10 airlines are:

Aer Lingus, Flybe, Frontier, HK Express, JetBlue, Jetstar Australia, Thomas Cook, Virgin America, Vueling and WestJet.

These airlines all have excellent safety records and, unlike a number of low-cost carriers, they have all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

Colorado's Frontier Airlines is a new entry on the 2018 list, taking a slot vacated by Singapore's Jetstar Asia.

"Certainly, air travel is safer today than at any time in history but passengers still need to know which are the best of the best," says Thomas.

AirlineRatings.com ranks the airlines using a unique seven-star rating system. The top airlines have all achieved the full seven stars.

Its lowest-rated airlines for 2018, achieving just one star in the rankings, are North Korea's Air Koryo, Suriname's Blue Wing Airlines, Indonesia's Trigana Air Service and Nepal's Buddha Air, Nepal Airlines, Tara Air and Yeti Airlines.

Chris Isidore and Jon Ostrower contributed to this report.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
LaGrange4708
Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57150

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10271422
Cuyahoga7724373
Hamilton5924197
Marion273238
Lucas2723302
Pickaway219141
Summit2131206
Montgomery198126
Mahoning1825232
Butler157644
Columbiana130360
Stark1107112
Lorain102167
Trumbull93965
Warren83921
Clark7659
Delaware56815
Fairfield55916
Tuscarawas55210
Belmont54622
Medina51632
Lake49718
Licking47712
Miami46331
Portage44058
Ashtabula43344
Wood42151
Geauga40542
Clermont4006
Wayne36251
Richland3375
Allen31540
Mercer2818
Greene2519
Darke24825
Erie24222
Holmes2313
Huron2152
Madison1958
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Sandusky13414
Washington13220
Putnam12815
Ross1243
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton972
Monroe8917
Jefferson872
Union851
Muskingum831
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Guernsey703
Lawrence700
Williams702
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Carroll593
Wyandot586
Athens561
Brown561
Knox511
Defiance503
Fayette460
Highland451
Champaign401
Scioto380
Perry341
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Henry290
Jackson230
Paulding230
Pike230
Adams221
Vinton222
Gallia171
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Angola
66° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 66°
Huntington
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Van Wert
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
Few Storms Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events