These two U.S. airlines are among the world’s safest

Jan 3, 2020

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Four U.S. airlines are among the safest in the world, according to a new report.

Of the top 20 safest airlines, according to Airline Ratings, just two U.S. carriers cracked the list. Alaska Airlines came in at No. 8 while Hawaiian Airlines was No. 11. The world’s safest? According to the website, it was Australia’s Qantas.

Airline Ratings says it judges an airline’s safety from “audits from aviation’s governing and industry bodies, government audits, airline’s crash and serious incident record, profitability, industry-leading safety initiatives, and fleet age.”

If you’re a Frontier or JetBlue loyalist, you’ll be pleased to know that both airlines took top spots on Airline Rating’s low-cost lists. Frontier came in at No. 3 while JetBlue was sixth. Unlike other low-cost airlines, the website said, “these airlines have all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and have excellent safety records.”

The website said that in some countries, the reporting process for low-cost carriers is weak. Indeed, a New York Times report from November highlighted issues at Lion Air with reporting safety concerns.

But if you’re a nervous flyer, you should be comforted in knowing air travel is the safest it’s ever been. According to The Associated Press, plane crash deaths globally fell by more than half in 2019.

According to AP, 257 people died worldwide in eight accidents in 2019. That was down from 2018, when 534 people died in 13 fatal accidents. To put that in perspective, the fatal accident rate for large planes 2019 works out to just one fatal incident for ever 5.6 million flights, according to the To70 aviation consultancy that compiled the safety survey.

The low 2019 numbers come even despite the high death tolls from both years is attributed to two crashes involving the now-grounded Boeing 737 MAX. In March 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 onboard. And just before the New Year, a jet in Kazakhstan killed 12 . That crash was blamed on pilot error and technical malfunctions. On Oct. 29, 2018, Lion Air flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea just off of the coast of Indonesia, killing all 189 onboard.

For now, the 737 MAX remains grounded with no clear timetable as to when regulators might clear it to resume flying.

Featured image courtesy of Alberto Riva/The Points Guy

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