An airline’s safety record may not be the deciding factor when a person books a flight with one carrier over another, but it’s definitely something that most travelers think about when they step on-board an aircraft. A new report from AirlineRatings.com has named to top 20 “safest” airlines in 2018. According to Business Insider, the report — released earlier this year — looks at each airline’s “standing with international regulators, its fatality record over the past 10 years, the age of its fleet of planes, its result from an International Air Transport Association safety audit, and whether its country of origin conforms with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s eight-point safety parameter.”
AirlineRatings.com audited over 400 airlines from around the globe. Although the group did not name a “safest airline,” each carrier on the list scored extremely high during the review. The vast majority of the top companies are based in either Asia or Europe, with the United States having just two make the list.
From the United States, only Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, from Honolulu, survived the cut. According to Business Insider, Alaska Airlines has not recorded a crash-related fatality since 2000. Hawaiian Airlines has had zero in the company’s 89-year history.
European carriers British Airways, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, and Virgin Atlantic all made the list. Airlines based inside European Union countries are all regulated by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Moving to the Middle East, Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Royal Jordanian led the pack for the region. Both Emirates and Etihad Airways are based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Emirates has only lost one aircraft since its launch more than three decades ago, and Etihad and Royal Jordanian also boast similar safety records.
Further into Asia, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, and Singapore Airlines all scored high. For Australia, carriers Qantas and Virgin Australia were both named on the list. Both All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines are home-based in Japan, Cathay Pacific is headquartered in Hong Kong, EVA Air is Taiwanese, and Singapore Airlines is from Singapore.
Neither South America nor Africa had an airline named on the list, but even so, commercial air travel is astronomically safer than any other mode of transportation. Although some passengers may be hesitant about boarding commercial flights from foreign countries, especially after the Lion Air crash earlier this year, aviation safety databases like Aviation Safety Network and airline reviews on sites like AirlineRatings.com are excellent resources for nervous passengers who want to ensure their carrier is safety compliant.
“With travel today taking passengers to every corner of the globe, with hundreds of airlines to choose from and a wide variety of standards from one airline to another, it is essential that passengers get the right information about the safety ratings as well as product,” said Geoffrey Thomas, Editor-in-Chief for AirlineRatings.com via a statement, according to Business Insider.