Safest Airline: Which one is the best choice?

Most travelers choose an airline for reasons other than security or safety practices. The best airline for many leisure travelers is the one that provides the best seats for the best price. The best airline for others may be the one that provides them with the most frequent flyer miles. For a business traveler, the best airline may be the one with the most comfortable business or first-class amenities.

However, the in the world today, an airline’s safety and security practices should be considered along with personal convenience reasons. Traveling on the safest airline in the world may be more important than the menu in economy class.

Governments and private entities often rank airlines in terms of safety. One of the most important factors that contribute to the security of a company’s fleet of planes is the age. Smaller airlines and charter companies often use older planes.

Other factors contributing to aircraft safety include service intervals. There are certain intervals between servicing that the Federal Aviation Administration requires. However, some airlines ensure that their fleet of planes has maintenance performed at shorter intervals in order to minimize the possibility not only of down time but of an accident.

The safest airline in the world is not necessarily the one that has the newest fleet and the best mechanics and preventative maintenance practices. The country of origin often contributes to the safety, or at least the perception of security, for the airline. For example, many, even those who dislike Israel, consider El Al to be the safest airline in the world. El Al, established as the national airline of Israel in 1948, has some of the most stringent passenger, baggage and maintenance screening requirements of any airline in the world. El Al flights never rely on the screening practices and policies of the airports where they fly. El Al security personnel subject every passenger to rigorous screening procedures. Baggage is screened a second and sometimes a third time. Passengers are also subject to often very intrusive questioning.

Destinations and the airline used to get there often contribute to the safety of a passenger, though today that is not as true as in the recent past. For example, traveling to the Middle East or other Islamic countries on Emirates Airlines made it extremely unlikely that any Muslim extremist would target the airlines. The age of the aircraft, excellent service record and the amenities provided made it considered one of the safest airlines. However, the rise of ISIS and the conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims now makes traveling on Emirates, from a terrorist threat perspective, as dangerous as any other airline. Not more, but also not less!

In contrast to the safest airline in the world, some of the most dangerous include the national airlines of many underdeveloped countries. Many countries in Africa, for example, have airlines that do not meet international standards and are not even allowed to fly into major hubs like London Heathrow or Frankfurt Airport. The aircraft used are poorly maintained and often serviced by untrained mechanics. In addition, the security of the plane and the screening of passengers in the countries of origin do not meet accepted international safety standards.