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The World’s 10 Safest Airlines

Last year’s air tragedies—including the two Malaysia Airlines incidents and the more recent AirAsia crash—have left many fliers wondering which airlines are the safest.

In 2014, there were 21 fatal commercial airline accidents, resulting in 986 deaths. Although those are sobering numbers, the long-term trend in airline safety is positive. Those 2014 numbers were, statistically, well above the 10-year average for fatalities.

Nevertheless, last year’s tragedies—including the two Malaysia Airlines incidents and the more recent AirAsia crash—have left many fliers rattled.

Realistically, most travelers don’t have the luxury of factoring into their travel planning the relative safety profiles of various airlines, even if such information were readily available. But for those who are so inclined and willing to look beyond the airlines’ own websites, or just curious about which airlines are deemed the safest, there is at least one source. AirlineRatings.com bills itself as “the world’s only safety and product rating website,” and it has just published its list of the world’s 10 safest airlines for 2015.

The site assesses airlines’ safety worthiness based not just on their safety records, but on the basis of audits by governments, the FAA, and the ICAO as well. The resulting list, in alphabetical order:

  • Air New Zealand
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Lufthansa
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines

Helpfully, AirlineRatings.com also picked the top-10 safest low-cost airlines, as follows:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • JetBlue
  • Jetstar
  • Kulula.com
  • Monarch Airlines
  • Thomas Cook
  • TUI Fly
  • WestJet

At the other end of the safety spectrum, four airlines rated just a single star in the website’s seven-star ranking system: Kam Air, Nepal Airlines, Scat, and Tara Air.

Reader Reality Check

How top-of-mind is safety for you when choosing an airline?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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