2017 was the safest year on record in the history of aviation.
Thankfully, there were no fatal accidents on any commercial jets all year. This is in line with a steady global decline in accidents in the last 30 years, helped by strict regulations and rigorous protocols within the industry.
Saying that, some airlines do have a cleaner history in terms of accidents than others. What follows are the 10 major airlines that boast impeccable safety records and have not had a crash in the modern era. They are listed in no particular order.
1. Virgin Atlantic
Founded by eccentric entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson 33 years ago, Virgin Atlantic has not experienced a major accident since its launch in 1984.
The famous Australian airline Qantas is the third biggest airline in the world, while also sporting one of the finest safety records since it launched in 1920 in the Queensland outback.
With its hub in Helsinki Airport in Finland, Finnair is one of the oldest airlines in the world – it first started flying in 1923. Although it has grown substantially since then, the airline is consistently ranked one of the safest airlines in the world, with no crashes in the modern era.
4. Hawaiian Airlines
In 86 years of operation, Hawaii’s biggest airline has never suffered a fatal accident or a hull loss, making it one of the world’s safest carriers.
5. EVA Air
Based at Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei, EVA Air is Taiwan’s second largest Taiwanese airline behind China Airlines. And despite being founded in 1989, some 29 years ago, the 5-star airline has not suffered any hull losses, accidents, or fatalities in its history.
6. Southwest Airlines
The largest domestic airline in the U.S., Southwest Airlines is also very safe. Although it has suffered a fatality when a B737 overshot its landing and struck a car in Chicago, no passengers have ever been lost.
7. Qatar Airways
One of the world’s most highly regarded airlines, Qatar Airways is also one the safest. Since its launch in 1997, the airline has not suffered one fatal crash.
The low-cost Irish airline Ryanair is Europe’s largest in terms of passengers, as well as an impeccable 32-year safety record.
9. Etihad Airways
The United Arab Emirates’ flag carrier has maintained a perfect safety record since starting commercial operations in 2003. Based at Abu Dhabi International Airport, the airline operates more than 1000 flights per week to over 120 destinations throughout the world.
This low-cost American airline, with its base at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, has been flying without incident since its inception in 1999.