The Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) has released their annual rankings of the most dangerous and safest worldwide airlines. I personally think the list is kind of silly as it includes data that chronicles death and hull loses going all the way back to 1983. The evaluation method doesn’t necessarily make sense since several of these airlines have significantly improved their safety and operating standards over the past 30 years (Korean, Turkish, TAM, South African). The JACDEC does note that they use a time weighting factor that places a greater emphasis on more recent accidents while accidents from the past have less of an impact. The cause of the loss and fault are NOT taken into account.

Most Dangerous (of 60 ranked airlines) –  Based on our annual safety calculations which include all hull loss accidents and serious incidents in the last 30 years of operations in relation to the revenue passsenger kilometers (RPK) performed in the same time. We also took into account the international safety benchmarks such as the IOSA Audit and the USOAP country factor. Furthermore we included a time weightening factor which increases the effect of recent accidents and weakening the impact of accidents in the past. All calculation data ends after a period of 30 years. Fatalities are only counted when they were on board a passenger flight. No ground casualties or 3rd party fatalities in other aircraft. All accidents that fulfills the above mentioned criteria were involved in our calculation, regardless of causes or responsibilities.

#1 – China Airlines: 8 hull losses; 755 dead
#2 – TAM Airlines: 6 hull losses; 336 dead
#3 – Air India: 3 hull losses; 329 dead
#4 – GOL Transportes Aereos: 1 hull loss; 154 dead
#5 – Korean Air: 9 hull losses; 687 dead
#6 – Saudia: 4 hull losses; 310 dead
#7 – Turkish Airlines: 6 hull losses, 188 dead
#8 – Thai Airways International: 5 hull losses; 309 dead
#9 – South African Airways: 1 hull loss; 159 dead
#10 – SkyWest Airlines: 3 hull losses; 22 dead

Safest (of 60 ranked airlines)
1) Finnair
2) Air New Zealand
3) Cathay Pacific
4) Emirates
5) Etihad Airways
6) EVA Air
7) Tap Portugal
8 ) Hainan Airlines
9) Virgin Australia
10) British Airways

Notable North American Rankings
#14 JetBlue
#21 Southwest
#25 Air Canada
#28 Delta
#31 United
#42 American
#44 US Airways
#45 Alaska Airlines

Full listing and data for the 60 ranked airlines here.


UPDATE January 9, 2014 – See the 2013 listing here!

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sakhalin January 23, 2013 - 6:58 pm

Maybe KE has an excuse for this? – the soviet union and the ke 007 flight

Chris January 23, 2013 - 7:16 pm

I saw this list earlier presented without the criteria you have above in italics. Reading that it makes a lot more sense, I was wondering why there were no US Airlines in the bottom 10 (like US Air and American who both have 9 hull losses), but if part of the ranking is RPK it would make sense that most of the US airlines would get pushed up the list because their RPK is probably so high, at least compared to some lower on the list.

It’s still a little confusing!

Mike January 23, 2013 - 9:11 pm

This list is not good. They are going back way too far and including crashes that was not the airlines fault. Example KOrean Air. As the above poster mentioned.

Flying Now Safest Since the Dawn of the Jet Age - Point Me To The Plane February 12, 2013 - 10:47 am

[…] Related – The World’s Most Dangerous & Safest Airlines […]

Scred March 28, 2013 - 2:34 pm

The most dangerous airline to be a guitar on: United Airlines.

Anon April 21, 2013 - 5:27 am

Its understandable putting Korean Air on that list…as their check in agent the things they let travel & all the rules they break to please the fellow Koreans us a disgrace

Ling July 9, 2013 - 10:08 pm

Yes, I will start flying Hainan Airlines or Eva Air instead of Lufthansa haha. Stupid rankings. We still don’t have a reliable site for airline safety.

Airline Safety is a Myth! October 28, 2013 - 4:45 am

Airline Safety is a Myth!

Most “Airline Safety” and “Overcome Your Fear of Flying”-sites are the product of the industry itself or those directly or indirectly related to it in some capacity. Interestingly, none of the sites mentions the fact that in terms of Number of Journeys, air travel comes only fourth (after travel by space shuttle, motorcycle and bicycle) as one of the most risky methods of travel!

Don’t like this particular statistic? Well, those who insure the airlines themselves find it more accurate than the other two alternatives used (distance travelled and hours of travel). Not only that, the industry fails to note that according to at least TWO of these alternative rankings, travel by rail and bus are either just as low risk or even less risk than flying!

Also, when was the last time you noticed an airline volunteering information online about where the smoke came from or why the engine surged and an emergency landing had to be made? Not exactly the most honest industry to be entrusting our lives to!

patrick matt January 9, 2014 - 11:44 pm

Where is kenya airways

Patrick Sok December 10, 2014 - 9:32 am

Korean Airlines is very dangerous. My mom lost a friend by taking that airline.


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