With a series of major air disasters fresh in travelers’ minds, nervous fliers can be forgiven for wondering if it’s still safe to fly. According to a new report from AirlineRatings.com, the answer is “yes” — provided you fly one of the carriers on the site’s just-released list of the world’s safest airlines.
Leading the list: Qantas, which has had a fatality-free record in the jet era, followed, in alphabetical order by Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. Low-cost carriers that also earned the site’s highest rating (7 stars) include Aer Lingus, Alaska Airlines, Icelandair and JetBlue. Conversely, five airlines earned just one star: Agni Air, Kam Air, Nepal Airlines, Scat and Tara Air.
Specific carriers aside, 2014 was a good news/bad news year for air safety. According to the Geneva-based Bureau of Accident Archives, there were 120 crashes last year, the lowest number since 1927. Sadly, those crashes resulted in 1,329 fatalities, the highest total since 2005. Considering that just three incidents (Malaysia Airlines’ MH17 and MH370 and AirAsia’s QZ8501) accounted for 699 of them, most travelers should have no fear of flying.