My records show QF
have 93 fatalities to it's name, but all from a very, very distant past.
If you also count the number of flights QF
have had over the years, combine it with it's predominant operating environment (relatively uncrowded Australian airspace and relatively perfect flying/ground operation conditions) and then compare that with many of the larger carriers, then it's the same sort of record as many of those larger carriers, who are more maligned.
(Compare the daily number of flights operated by QF
pre 1993 TN
takeover and you'll see what I mean. A fleet of approximately 30-40 with many frames doing as little as 4 cycles a day on the long hauls QF
did/does, can't compare on the same level as a UA
/AA/DL with their 500/600+ fleets and thousands of flights per day
and tens of thousands of cycles per day
Just another way to prove statistics can read anything you want into them.
Regardless, it's still a sterling history no matter how you look at it. Don't get me wrong, the "safety first" culture of QF
and the superb crewman who have operated the fleet over the years contribute greatly to that history and are a big reason why that history is so good, but one has to compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges.
People that say "QF is safest" are similar to those who jump in and say Air China and Aeroflot have shocking records, although the International "prestige" divisions of both those carriers have as equally sterling histories as QF
. (Domestically for both carriers is a whole different ball game, but the International divisions were run completely seperately from them). As an example, until the incident last year (or was it 2001?), CAAC (International Division) which became Air China had only the 1 fatality - something that not many realise given CAAC's shocking domestic division past.
As for who is the safest, it's all relative. There are some carriers you know the odds are with you if you fly with them, there are others you wouldn't fly in a fit.