With 21 fatal accidents and 986 fatalities, 2014 was marred by some major commercial-aviation crashes. That said, flying is still one of the safest forms of transportation in the world.
According to Australian consumer-aviation website AirlineRatings.com, the airline industry transported 3.3 billion passengers on 27 million flights last year.
Airline Ratings released a list of the world’s 10 safest airlines selected from a pool of 449 carriers. To compile its list, the website evaluated each airline based on its standing with international regulators, its fatality record over the past 10 years, its result from an International Air Transportation Association safety audit, and whether the airline’s country of origin conforms with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s eight-point safety parameter. All of the airlines on this list passed those tests with flying colors.
Interestingly, the carriers on the list hail exclusively from Asia, Australia, and Europe, with no carriers from the Americas and Africa making the cut. Airline Ratings didn’t list the final finishing order for places two to 10, but did crown a winner.
Air New Zealand has made a fine recovery after a period of financial turmoil in the early 2000s. This renaissance culminated with AirlineRatings.com recently naming it the best airline in the world. Air New Zealand has not suffered any significant incidents in the past couple of decades.
Singapore Airlines is universally lauded for its high-quality service and efficient operations. It is also Business Insider’s pick for the best airline in the world. The Changi Airport-based carrier has been accident-free since 2000.
REUTERS/Jean Philippe Aries
As Finland’s national airline, Finnair doesn’t get as much attention in the media as some of its Scandinavian counterparts. But don’t discount the Helsinki-based carrier. It has one of the best safety records in the business and hasn’t suffered any major accidents since the 1960s.
British Airways is one of the biggest and most decorated airlines in Europe. Although it’s been in the news in recent years for a couple of incidents, the airline has suffered only one fatal crash — in 1976 — since its formation in 1974.
AirlineRatings.com recently awarded Cathay Pacific with the honor of best business-class accommodations in the world. As comfortable as its business-class service may be, the airline is just as competent in terms of safety. Outside of terrorist attacks, Cathay Pacific has not suffered a fatal accident since the 1960s.
Since its inception in 1985, Emirates Airlines has grown to become one of the biggest players in the industry. And in those 30 years, the airline has maintained a near-perfect safety record — not suffering a single fatal accident.
Like its Emirates neighbor, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad has maintained an unblemished safety record. It’s truly remarkable how quickly the decade-old airline has grown in scale and reputation.