Posts: 216
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2000 7:58 am

Safest Airlines

Wed Aug 30, 2000 7:54 am

Could any one tell me which are the 10 safest airlines according to accident statistics. I know QANTAS is #1 but who follows?
Thank you
Posts: 244
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RE: Safest Airlines

Wed Aug 30, 2000 12:16 pm

accorrding to my memory, CX, JL, SR are also in the list.
The rest, I have forgot it!!  
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RE: Safest Airlines

Wed Aug 30, 2000 12:32 pm

One of the safest is Alitalia
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RE: Safest Airlines

Wed Aug 30, 2000 2:33 pm

Certainly Southwest is the safest in terms of the very high number of cycles it has operated in the US since 1971 with no fatalities and just one 737-300 write-off this year due to an overshoot. Qantas is the one most popularly referred to as safest because of its longer history (1931 I think) without a fatality; also its route network is global in span.

BWIA also has an admirable reputation for safety with its 60 years of flying to the Caribbean without any fatal accidents, although it did have write-offs in its early days due to refuelling fires and skids.

Overall I would say Southwest is the safest.

Hop to it, fly for life!
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RE: Safest Airlines

Wed Aug 30, 2000 5:31 pm

One airline on which you´ll never ever be highjacked: El Al
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RE: Safest Airlines

Wed Aug 30, 2000 7:03 pm

Why is QANTAS number 1? That's just propaganda, if you look at the statistics, there are many airlines with 'better' records than QANTAS, including

America West
Aer Lingus

QANTAS has only flown about 1million flights, and is therefore below the number of flights that would be likely to result in a fatal accident (my rough guess is that the accident rate among major carriers averages about .5 fatal accidents per million, meaning QANTAS could fly another million flights before being due for an accident

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RE: Safest Airlines

Wed Aug 30, 2000 7:46 pm

I also think SAS is one of the safest airlines to fly.

Considering its size too, as the 15th largest airline in the world in number of passengers flown (23 million in 1999), it is indeed a very safe airline.

It is many years since they had a critical accident with losses of lives, I think the last one happened in Los Angeles in the late 1960's when a DC8 en route to Copenhagen went down in the Pacific.
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RE: Safest Airlines

Wed Aug 30, 2000 9:57 pm

Virgin,Mexicana and Singapore would fit the bill along with Emerates and EL-AL
Olympic A-340
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RE: Safest Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2000 1:15 am

OLYMPIC AIRWAYS-incredible pilots, and great maintenance. I know some of you will disagree, but that is what i think  
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Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 12:31 am

RE: Safest Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2000 1:26 am

SQ's safety policies is a joke, see for yourself all the horror stories about basic lack of airmanship by some local pilots, the all BUT competent training captains and a management that sees prestige as far more important than safety.
All this on, the professional Pilots Rumours NEtwork.

If you want safe, go for any west European or US airline, but remember that Safety is a very subjective thing and there is NO safest airline, either you have a safety minded company or you haven't.

BTW. When are people going to stop thinking that Qantas is the safest (we've all seen "Rainman")
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Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: Safest Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2000 1:57 am

Statistics is a very difficult thing to deal with.
Sure Vadheim is right that SAS has been pretty good. And it is correct that SASs last fatality was in the 60'es when a DC-8 overran the runway at LAX, broke up in the sea, and I think 15 passengers drowned.
But when thinking about the luck they had some 8-10 years ago when they crashlanded a MD-83 just after take-off at Arlanda (Stockholm) with both engines stopped by ice from the wing.
It was just after Christmas, 6 hours daylight, 18 hours darkness.
Had it not been daylight...
Had visibility been poor, as it mostly is during that time of the year...
Had the cloud base been really low, as it often is at that time of the year...
Had it taken off in another direction, over the sea...
Had it not been able to use the wing as "brake" in the treetops of the forest...
Had it not been able to slide onto even ground in a countryside of otherwise mostly rocks...
Had the ground not been snow covered, to prevent sparks and fire...
Etc. etc...
It was simply a miracle that everybody (120+) walked away from that "landing". The chance to have a disaster in that situation was well over 99%.
It was of course not just pure luck, but also a superb job done by captain Rasmussen, who became a hero for that stunt. But he needed plenty of luck to be able to show his skill that day. And walk away from it.

Sure SAS learned a lesson about deicing that day!!! It will never happen again.

Otherwise SAS had a Caravelle which flew into a mountain at Ankara, Turkey in the late fifties. But how relevant is it to talk about accidents more than 20-25 years ago when the subject is safety today?
Best regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
Posts: 601
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 1999 6:00 am


Thu Aug 31, 2000 2:29 am

You're absolutely right! I have for a long time been annoyed at how SAS' safety record looks better thanks to the amazing luck they had that day.

I'm not saying that they aren't safe. I actually think of them as one of the safest airlines. It's just that one crash that everyone seems to forget about that's always gnawing at the back of my head.  

The captain pulled off an amazing feat, but like you said, without luck there would've been nothing he could've done no matter his skills.

Oh well, that's life  .
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Joined: Mon May 22, 2000 7:01 am

RE: Safest Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2000 4:00 am

What about British Airways they have a good enough record too. I don't think Qantas should be the safest airliner. Aer Lingus are very good too only one crash back in the 1940's i think, but it wasn't the planes fault it was blown out of the sky.

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RE: Safest Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2000 9:44 am

You have all got to be kidding!! Qantas and Ansett Australia have had zero fatalities and in my book that is the most important thing. They are the safest!! By the way, Qantas is the second oldest airline (english) in the world and they've flown a heap more than a million flights, 777x. 1920 they started. American carriers could learn alot from aussie aviation. It's not all about profit.

RE: Safest Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2000 10:33 am

I agree Harvey!!

QF & AN do have excellent safety records. And it all has to do with our Governments air safety rules and regulations which were the toughest in the world until recently.

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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2000 3:58 pm

RE: Safest Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2000 11:35 am

I think the best advertising in the world was for Qantas with Rainman. Brought a lot of populist rubbish that it was the safest airline in the world. As for it never crashing, that's utter nonsense. Typical of the "hollywoodnisation" of facts.

Never crashed? I can always pull the 1960's Constellation crash in Mauritius. Last year's kerfluffle at BKK - while there are various contributing factors, it reeks of pilot error. Nevertheless, both Ansett and Qantas are very safe carriers.

As for SK, good you on Preben. They don't have a flawless record, I can recall the crash after takeoff at ARN and then there was one involving a DC-10 a while back as well.

Bottom line. There are safe airlines, safer airlines. Safest airline? Well, we're yet to discover it, let alone a formula that can define a safest airline.


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RE: Safest Airlines

Thu Aug 31, 2000 8:32 pm

Qantas has indeed crashed, but not during the jet era

The numbers for 1million flights were since 1970, which is really the earliest date that I was able to find stats.

However, I stand by my statement

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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 1999 6:00 am


Thu Aug 31, 2000 11:50 pm

Here, check this site to get the airlines that are *really* the safest, instead of just naming your personal favorite! (Doesn't apply to all of you)

I just hope they're a reliable source.  

Note: Statistics don't tell you everything*, but at least they'll give you an indication. Basically, I'd say anyone belonging to group A in this site's classification is pretty damn safe enough! (also notice how some belonging to group B are there somewhat unfairly, too. BTW, I won't tell you my absolute favorite, though, since a thing like that would be very hard to prove   )

*they don't differentiate between weather/pilot error/maintenance/design faults/bird strikes etc.

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