When traveling by plane, you really can't put a price tag on peace of mind. Even if you don't harbor a fear of flying, soaring 40,000 feet above ground in a 175,000-pound aircraft can be an unnerving experience. When you factor in security issues, mysterious flight disappearances, and rough takeoffs and landings, booking through one of the world's safest airlines can do well to assuage any anxieties.
Enter AirlineRatings.com's annual list of the world's safest airlines for 2017. As Conde Nast Traveler reports, the safety and product rating website evaluated 409 carriers and their crash/incident reports, operational history, fleet age, and inspection reports.
Per their research, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia are the 20 safest airlines in the world. Delta and United Airlines dropped off of this year's list.
As far as budget airlines go, Aer Lingus, Flybe, Frontier, HK Express, Jetstar Australia, Thomas Cook, Virgin America, Vueling, and Westjet were the 10 safest. "Unlike many budget airlines, which have been banned from operating in the European Union, these carriers have excellent safety records, and have all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)," clarifies the publication.
Conversely, think twice about boarding North Korea's Air Koryo; Suriname's Blue Wing Airlines; Indonesia's Trigana Air Service; and Nepal's Buddha Air, Nepal Airlines, Tara Air, and Yeti Airlines; they all received one-star ratings from the travel website.