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5 Safest Airlines

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Russell Corr

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Thought I might try to start a thread on a topic I am very interested in. What would be the 5 safest airlines in the world to travel on? This does not include the threat of potential terrorist attack it is purely in terms of arriving safely at your chosen destination.

I once had a very long conversation with a senior ATC in London who said he would only fly BA, QF, Air NZ, SQ. He ranked CX and VS just outside of these 4. This was just his opinion but he obviously had a good knowledge of the industry.

I'll start the ball rolling by saying the 5 I would feel most comfortable with would be QF, BA, SQ, Air NZ and VS. I have flown a number of others but if I had the choice for safety these would be my five in no order of preference. :)

Anyone have any different choices or horror stories to share about my choices? Interested to hear what you all think on this topic.
 

thadocta

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I would have tobe carried kicking and screaming onto an SQ flight.

Dave
 

oz_mark

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Russell Corr said:
Thought I might try to start a thread on a topic I am very interested in. What would be the 5 safest airlines in the world to travel on? This does not include the threat of potential terrorist attack it is purely in terms of arriving safely at your chosen destination.

I once had a very long conversation with a senior ATC in London who said he would only fly BA, QF, Air NZ, SQ. He ranked CX and VS just outside of these 4. This was just his opinion but he obviously had a good knowledge of the industry.

I'll start the ball rolling by saying the 5 I would feel most comfortable with would be QF, BA, SQ, Air NZ and VS. I have flown a number of others but if I had the choice for safety these would be my five in no order of preference. :)

Anyone have any different choices or horror stories to share about my choices? Interested to hear what you all think on this topic.
It is possible that an ATC has a particular perspective on the safety issues, that may vary from other peoples views on what constitutes a safe airline. From my reading on the issue I would be inclined to swap CX and SQ in your rankings.
 

NM

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Unlike others who have posted, my personal list would not include SQ. It would include QF, BA, NZ, AO, SA, AY/VS (undecided which would make position 5).

I can't think of any North or South American airlines I would include, though I do have to use some regularly. Only Asian airline I would consider including in my top 10 is CX. I have no experience and am unable to draw any conclusion for middle east airlines, except that I think I would be happy on LY. VS and BD would make it into my top 10 list.
 

Russell Corr

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Guys,

This chat was a number of years ago so perhaps things have changed with SQ over the years. He certainly gave me a fair bit of info at the time.

I was always under the impression that SQ were a "safe" airline but I must be missing something. All three of you have said they would not put them in the list. Any particular reaons for this??
 

dajop

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Also worth a look at www.airsafe.com. They have stats up there, and have a list of all airlines who have been fatality free since 1970. The major airlines on that list are:
North America - Hawaiin Airlines, America West, Southwest
South America - no majors - Air Jamaica
Europe - Aer Lingus, Austrian Airlines, Finnair, Icelandair, Sabena(RIP), Ryanair, Virgin Atlantic
Africa - Air Mauritius, Emirates
Asia/Pac - Ansett (RIP), Dragonair, Air Nuigini, EVA Air, Japan Air System, Royal Brunei, Qantas.

Now what this quick summary doesn't differentiate is good management from good luck. Have to delve deeper for that.
 

NM

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dajop said:
Europe - Aer Lingus, Austrian Airlines, Finnair, Icelandair, Sabena(RIP), Ryanair, Virgin Atlantic
Didn't Austrian come out of Lauda Airlines? Or was it a merger/purchase? Lauda lost a 767 in Asia (takeoff out of Singapore I think from memory) when one engine when into reverse thrust at climb power.
 

Russell Corr

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NM said:
Didn't Austrian come out of Lauda Airlines? Or was it a merger/purchase? Lauda lost a 767 in Asia (takeoff out of Singapore I think from memory) when one engine when into reverse thrust at climb power.
NM you are right about that 767 it was in the earlier days of Lauda. The next 767 off the production line (or the one before) also crashed Egypt Air I think.
 

QF WP

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Any airline that doesn't make it onto Air Crash Investigation on Foxtel :!: .

Personally, QF, BA, CX, AY and DragonAir.

I'd be like thadocta with SQ (although I wasn't dragged kicking and screaming onto any of my 3 flights with them :roll: ).

Never again - China Airways and Whyalla Air (RIP)
 

markis10

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Interesting topic, for the record the Lauda Air crash was ex BKK.

I once had a China Air flight ask me what a DME is? I am not sure the passengers of QF on the flight that ran of the runway at BKK would argue that QF is the best, and of all the aircraft that fly the safest one is actually a helicopter based on flown hours versus fatailities (Bell 206).

SQ had a good record until TPE (why were the runway lights on a runway that was closed), BA has had issues in Zagreb (not their fault) and the list goes on, bottom line is that there are things that an airline can control and things it cannot control when it comes to safety, so route and airline choices come into play when you are talking safety.

I have seen things I can never repeat in public when it comes to safety in Australia with regard to aviation but I still fly - just get me a scotch and a good inflight movie - when your time is up so be it.
 

Yada Yada

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I've flown SQ a number of times and have always found them to be great. Certainly cabin service beats QF by a long mile. What is unsafe about them?
 

dajop

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Interesting the debate about SQ. Are there practices really that bad, or is just in comparison to QF? How do they stack up against the likes of UA, EK, NZ, MH, TG, DJ and CX and other major operators in or into Australia?

The TPE incident was clearly not mechanical error, but company polices (arguably) were a contributing factor. Whilst I can't recall the cause of the SilkAir disaster - I do vaguely remember some mention of pilot suicide.
 

Yada Yada

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serfty said:
It simple stuff ups like the Tail Scape at AKL in 2003 that give pause to travelling SQ.
I wasn't aware of that incident. However it seems to be less serious than the QF stuff-up in (I think) BKK where the 747 ended up on the golf course and should have been a total write-off. Or the recent CX problem where the auto-pilot failed and the crew ignored warnings for some time.
 

bravoecho1

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dajop said:
Interesting the debate about SQ. Are there practices really that bad, or is just in comparison to QF? How do they stack up against the likes of UA, EK, NZ, MH, TG, DJ and CX and other major operators in or into Australia?
The engineering company that looks after CX, HAECO, has some shocking practices.

My father is an ex C&T Captain with CX and used to tell me some horrendous stories, especially when they took delivery of their first Airbus A330 and 340's.

I still would and do fly them
 

NM

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oz_mark said:
I think you'll find that even CX and QF have been caught out dragging their tail before.
This was not a simple over-rotation, but a gross miscalculation of Vr based on an incorrect aircraft weight. I think it is fair is assume that Vr was not the only thing that was miscalculated on that flight - probably V1 and V2 as well, which could have lead to even more damage if they needed to abort the takeoff in an aircraft 100 tonnes heavier than the calculated V1 speed.

Over-rotation happens from time to time, usually on very lightly loaded aircraft or when a wind-sheer is experienced around the time of rotation. A 744 with almost 400 people on board and fueled for AKL-SIN is not going to be a light aircraft. Dragging the tail for almost half a kilometre is not just a tail strike. The aircraft manufacturers install a skid plate under the tail of aircraft that are deemed to be susceptible to tail strikes (eg 767-400 is a classic example).

Have a look here for the resulting damage to the aircraft.

This was an example of a failure in CRM, and in my book those are the most serious failures. I would expect and experienced 744 Captain and FO to have a better feel for a Vr calculation that is more than 30 knots below what it should have been for the weight of the aircraft and then double checked the source data used for the calculations.
 

serfty

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Also ignoring audible cockpit alarms and indicators during take off is not a good thing.
 
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