Every year, AirlineRatings.com takes the data from over 400 airlines that it tracks and makes a list of the top 20 airlines for safety. They also put together a list of the top low cost carriers as well. So what does the list look like for 2015? First is the safest airline in the world, it should be of no surprise that Qantas takes this spot, as they have for the previous 3 years. This has everything to do with the fact that they have never had a death due to an aircraft crash. A fairly impressive thing to accomplish.
Here is the list for 2015:
- American Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- EVA Air
- Air New Zealand
- Japan Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
- Cathay Pacific
The low cost carriers are listed on their website, but the US carriers on that list are JetBlue, and Virgin America. Let me use this opportunity to take a dig at Southwest... they aren't on this list for a reason, and it's why I refuse to fly with them. In the past they had bribed FAA officials into allowing them to avoid or postpone safety checks on their aircraft. Not exactly admirable.
Aside from the safest airlines, there is some other statistics that came out of 2015 that I find very interesting. The fatalities in 2015, despite some high profile crashes, were very low as compared to the average over the last 10 years. There were 16 accidents with fatalities, totaling 560 deaths. Now that may seem like a lot to some people, but we sometimes get a warped view of numbers. Hundreds of people dying is always a tragedy, but is it really as big as it seems?
Since the airline industry is always being compared to car safety, this seems like a good place to make a point about how safe flying really is. In the United States there are about 32,000 deaths a year... and that's just the United States. The aviation numbers are global. So while we often hear how safe airlines are, these are the real numbers at work, and as you can see, the airline industry is nowhere near the car fatality rate in just the USA, not even accounting for worldwide numbers.
So all of us who feel pretty loyal to American Airlines can feel more comfortable that they are listed this year as one of the top 20 safest airlines in the world. Way to go AA, and every other airline on that list!