Top 10 Safest Airlines

Cathay Pacific tops the list

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••• A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-ER. Photo by Aero Icarus/Wikipedia

We did a post on the top 10 safest aircraft, so it was only natural to take a look at the list of safest airlines. Every year, Germany’s Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) releases its annual list based on an airline’s cumulative performance in the past 30 years. The organization has released its list for 2016 outlining the top 60 safest airlines in the world based on air crashes.

Number one on the list is Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific.

JADEC says the carrier has had no fatalities and no hull loss events in the past three decades. Next on the list is Abu Dhabi-based Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East. JADEC lauded the carrier for this achievement despite a period of immense growth from the 1990s until now.

On the list at number three is Taiwan-based Eva Air, which JADEC says it has always been among the best in terms of operational safety. But because of its smaller size, the airline lacks substantial numbers of revenue traffic and only began operating in 1991.

Number four on the list is Qatar Airways, which has been in operation since November 22, 1993. Number five is China's Hainan Airlines.

The Netherlands’ KLM came in sixth place, making it Europe’s safest airline. Rounding out the top 10 are: Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways,  Japan Airlines and TAP Portugal. The next five carriers on the list were JetBlue, Lufthansa, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic and All Nippon Airways.

Rounding out the top 10 were Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, British Airways, Sichuan Airlines​ and Air Berlin.

The safest regions in the world, according to JADEC, were North America and Eurasia, which includes Russia and the countries east of Ukraine, with the region not posting a single flight accident death.

The Latin America region posted 10 deaths, mostly on flights with vintage machines on non-scheduled operations.

Africa experienced 18 aircraft losses and 134 fatalities in 2014, JADEC reported. The most deaths occurred in the Asia-Pacific region, where the half of all fatalities occurred in 2014, it added.

JADEC is not the only organization to rate airline safety. In its latest list, AirlineRatings.com rated Qantas number one, based on the Australian flag carrier’s fatality-free record in the jet era.

It was followed on the list in alphabetical order by Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Finnair, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. The rankings, according to the website, are based a range of factors related to audits from aviation’s governing bodies such as the FAA and ICAO as well as government audits and the airline’s fatality record.