Top 10: safest airlines that have never had a plane crash

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (January 8, 2018): Top 10: world’s safest airlines that have never had a major accident.

According to the Aviation Safety Network, 2017 was the safest year on record in aviation history, as no fatal accidents with commercial passenger jets occurred (excluding propeller planes and cargo jets). And while USA President Trump took credit for that global safety record in one of his (in)famous tweets, airline accidents have actually been on a consistent global decline since more than 30 years, thanks to strict regulations and rigorous standards in the aviation industry. That said, some airlines are still better performing than others when it comes to safety standards, and that’s why the Australia-based aviation analysis website released an annual list of the world’s 20 safest carriers, which are standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation, and launching of new aircraft. Airlines that can present an impeccable safety record of zero fatalities in their history are very rare though. Here’s a closer look at 10 major global airlines (listed in alphabetical order) that have not had a plane crash in the modern jet era.

There is more information below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Leave a comment.

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Etihad Airways is the flag carrier and the second largest airline of the United Arab Emirates (after Emirates). Etihad, which started commercial operations in 2003, uses Abu Dhabi International Airport as its hub. The airline operates more than 1000 flights per week to over 120 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas, with a fleet of more than 120 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Etihad has maintained a perfect safety record in its 15 years of flying passengers across the globe.


EVA Air is the second largest Taiwanese airline (after China Airlines) and based at Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei, Taiwan. The privately owned carrier is a 5-star airline, rated by Skytrax, and flies to over 40 international destinations spread across 4 continents. EVA Air was founded in 1989 and has not suffered any hull losses, accidents, or fatalities since its establishment. The carrier currently operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft, wit A330, A321 and B777 planes mainly used on passenger routes along with B747 And B777 freighter aircraft flown on cargo routes.


Finnair, which operates out of Helsinki Airport, is one of the world’s oldest operating airlines. Since it was founded over 90 years ago in 1923, the company has grown from a small airline to a strong and respected member of the international airline industry. The carrier flies over 10 million passengers per year to almost 80 destinations in Europe, Asia and North American aboard its modern fleet of Airbus, Embraer and ATR aircraft. With no fatal or hull-loss accidents in the modern jet area, Finnair is consistently ranked one of the safest airlines in the world.


Now in its 86th year of continuous service and operating more than 200 daily flights system-wide, Hawaiian is Hawai‘i’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the U.S. Mainland. Hawaiian also offers non-stop service to Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti. Having never suffered from fatal accident or a hull loss throughout its history, Hawaiian frequently tops the list of the world’s safest carriers. In addition, Hawaiian is also one of the airlines with the best on-time performance in the USA, as well as the with the fewest cancellations, oversales, and baggage handling.


The low-cost carrier Jetblue is the 6th largest airline in the USA, with its main base at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The company was founded in 1999 by Brazilian-American entrepreneur David Neeleman and based on the success formula of Southwest Airlines, although Jetblue tried to distinguish itself by offering a superior inflight entertainment system and more leg room in couch. Jetblue is now a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan, and carries more than 38 million customers a year to 101 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 1,000 daily flights aboard a fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 and Embaer E190 planes.


Founded in the Queensland outback in 1920, Qantas is the world’s 3rd oldest airline (behind KLM and Avianca) and has grown to be Australia’s largest domestic and international airline. Over its 97-year history Qantas has amassed an amazing record of firsts in safety and operations and is widely regarded as the world’s safest airline since it hasn’t suffered any accidents in the modern jet era. Qantas’ reputation for safety gained instant world-wide fame in 1988 because of the movie Rain Man, when Dustin Hoffman’s character claimed that ‘Qantas never crashes’. Australia’s flagship carrier is based in Sydney and flies to 80 destinations in more than 20 countries, using a fleet of modern Airbus and Boeing aircraft.


Since its launch in 1997, Qatar Airways has earned many awards and accolades, becoming one of an elite group of airlines worldwide to have earned a 5-star rating by Skytrax. Qatar’s flagship carrier serves 150 international destinations across Africa, Central Asia, Europe, Far East, South Asia, Middle East, North America, South America and Oceania from its base at Hamad International Airport near Qatar’s capital Doha, using fleet of more than 180 Boeing and Airbus aircraft. As an industry leader in aviation safety, the airline has demonstrated a strong safety and security performance record. Back in 2003, it was the first airline to complete the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) audit with 100 per cent compliance.


The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair is Europe’s largest airline by scheduled passengers flown. Last year, the airline carried over 131 million customers on more than 2,000 daily flights from 86 bases, connecting over 205 destinations in 33 countries on a fleet of more than 400 Boeing 737 aircraft (with a further 240 Boeing 737’s on order). The airline has been characterised by its rapid expansion, a result of the deregulation of the aviation industry in Europe in 1997 and the success of its low-cost business model. Ryanair has a team of more than 13,000 highly skilled aviation professionals delivering Europe’s number one on-time performance, and an industry leading 32-year impeccable safety record.


Founded more than 40 years ago, Southwest Airlines is now the USA’s largest domestic air carrier, operating more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 100 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. Similar to Ryanair, Southwest operates an exclusive fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, making it the largest operator of the Boeing 737 worldwide, with over 700 in service, each averaging six flights per day. The carrier has maintained an excellent safety record as not a single passenger has died as a result of an accident, although Southwest has lost two aircraft due to damage at landing beyond repair, and an occupant of a car was killed in 2005, as the vehicle was hit by one of carrier’s B737s who overran the runway in Chicago during a snow storm.


Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson 33 years ago with innovation and customer service at its core. Today Virgin Atlantic carries 5.5 million customers annually, employs over 9000 people worldwide and operates a fleet of 39 aircraft serving 26 destinations across four continents from its bases at London’s Heathrow, London’s Gatwick, and Manchester airport. Alongside joint venture partner Delta Air Lines they operate the leading transatlantic network – offering up to 39 flights per day between the UK and US with onward connections to over 200 US and international cities. The Virgin-branded airline has not incurred a major accident since its launch in 1984.

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  1. Patient Safety?…Its an airline, not a doctor…don’t you mean Passenger Safety, and what you term a near miss is far better than an actual accident, id rather be in a 100 near misses than a single crash, and the statistics don’t talk about the “near misses” of any airlines, so your statement that one may have more than another is unsupported conjecture.

  2. A near miss is a safety incident that why they are investigated so the poster had a valid point..flew Ryanair years ago from London to Dublin and back and they appeared low budget to me and nothing stood out as an extraordinarily good airline..sounds like Ryanair has had the luck of Irish!

  3. Does need updating, Southwest has also had some issues with at least 1 fatality due to engine failure.

  4. What foolish Lister here you fool🌎 North or south🌎🌏,east or west 🌍INDIAN AIRLINE IS BEST OF BEST🛫🛬✈️

  5. Eva had a hull loss on the US west coast with a number of fatalities when a 777 landed short and the tail hit the sea wall

  6. Ryanair? You are habu nv a laugh. More than once we all aot dropped dout of the sky with near misses… Neve fly with them again. I remember even 10 years ago my mum first time seemed scared plane tilted and dropped crew looked super scared…

    We found out a jet descended right in front to our right and the engines pushed us out the sky. Both Ryanair planes too.

    More then one son ryanair this has happened.. Seems nothing changed in recent years.. As I see people still claiming this is happening now.

  7. near misses are near misses and not accidents. Any fatalities from the near misses of Ryanair?

  8. They can scare me half to death over and over but as long as they don’t kill or mangle me I can take it. If they smash their machine but I can walk away uninjured I can take that too.

  9. What about Kuwait airlines they’ve never had a crash just 2 hijackings and those were in the 80’s

  10. All the YouTube accident channels are about Ryanair. What a load.

  11. Etihad had a crash in 2007 in Toulouse, France. One of its a340s hit a wall on its maiden voyage

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