An examination of 60 world airlines has found that Emirates and Etihad are among the safest carriers, ranking 4th and 5th, while Qatar Airways trails far behind at 22nd.
The 2012 results were tabulated by the Germany-based Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC), which looked at airlines’ number of hull losses (whether an aircraft has been destroyed or damaged beyond economical repair), serious incidents and other factors to compute the rankings. Additionally:
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.
JACDEC has not released the full details of its report, and some analysts have said that the rankings don’t add up.
In a column in Australian publication The Age, William Mace points out:
Finnair’s safety record was 0,005 and no hull losses. But Emirates Airlines, which was ranked #4, had one, albeit 27 years ago. Its JACDEC Safety Index was 0,008.
British Airways, ranked at #10, was listed with one hull loss over the past 30 years, four years ago, on 17 January, 2008. Its JACDEC ranking nevertheless was 0,011. Lufthansa, ranked at #11, listed one hull loss, and 2 fatalities, the most recent incident 19 years ago on 14 September, 1993. Its JACDEC Safety Index ranking matched British Airways, at 0,011.
Among the worst ranked for safety: the award-winning Turkish Airlines (54th), as well as Saudi Arabian Airlines (55th) and Air India (58th), with Taiwan-based China Airlines coming last.
Credit: Photo by Peter Russell
Note: This article previously incorrectly stated the rankings of Emirates and Etihad, but has been corrected to reflect the accurate numbers.