Air travel is a complicated thing, but thankfully it’s not nearly as dangerous to fly in small aircraft than it used to be. Still, accidents do happen sometimes. Just not usually—or even never—on these well-known carriers that we frequently fly.
Yes, it’s true. Some airlines are safer to fly than others, even though crashes are few and far between at this point. In fact, 2017 was the safest year on record for air travel with only 10 fatal accidents causing 44 deaths. And recent information published by Plane Crash Info shows 42 airlines around the world have never had a fatal accident in their airline’s history, even as planes in use get older.
“Commercial aircraft are built to last more or less indefinitely, which is one of the reasons why they’re so expensive,” pilot Patrick Smith told Telegraph Travel. “It’s common for a jet to remain in service for 25 years or more.”
Many of those 42 airlines are smaller, less known companies. But if you want to travel on a big airline and ensure that you’re getting the safest ride, these 10 are some of the best airlines to fly for amount of accidents and length in business: Qantas, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest, EasyJet, Ryanair, Virgin (all branches), British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar. And the winner for the safest airline in the world? Air New Zealand.
As of this week, the air travel industry has hit a record of going 437 days without any commercial jet accidents; the last fatal crash was when the Brazilian football team crashed near Medellin.
“Since 1997 the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organizations such as ICAO, IATA, Flight Safety Foundation and the aviation industry,” Harro Ranter, president of the Aviation Safety Network, told the Telegraph.