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Safety doesn’t rule when choosing flights: aviation expert

Travellers are being driven more by low airfares than by safety, an aviation expert has warned.


As AirlineRatings releases its latest list of the world’s safest airlines – among which Australian carriers feature favourably – the website’s editor-in-chief said he felt price was still “the largest factor in choice of travel”.



"It's still a great concern for the industry... airlines out there who don't do audits and who do have lots of serious incidents and are charging very, very cheap fares,” Geoffrey Thomas told SBS News.


"A passenger, for instance, wants to fly Qantas or Virgin Australia but wants to have the airfare from the lowest cost airline they can find. The two are incompatible. You get what you pay for."


According to Mr Thomas, compared to low cost carriers, seats on the majority of the top 20 safest airlines don't come cheap.


"Airlines like Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand or Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, these are the best of the best and that doesn't come cheap," he said.


He thus urged travellers seeking cheaper flights to be more attentive of a carrier’s safety record.


"Passengers should look more carefully at the airlines they fly on. When they do choose a very inexpensive airline and things go wrong... well that's because they've chosen an inexpensive airline."


For commercial flying, 2017 was considered the safest year on record as no passenger jet fatalities were recorded.


World’s Safest Airlines in alphabetical order:

Air New Zealand

Alaska Airlines

All Nippon Airways

British Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways


Etihad Airways



Hawaiian Airlines

Japan Airlines




Royal Jordanian Airlines

Scandinavian Airline System

Singapore Airlines


Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia


Top ten Low-Cost Carriers in alphabetical order:

Aer Lingus



HK Express


Jetstar Australia

Thomas Cook

Virgin America




World’s Least Safe Airlines (one star) in alphabetical order:

Air Koryo

Bluewing Airlines

Buddha Air

Nepal Airlines

Tara Air

Trigana Air Service

Yeti Airlines


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 8 January 2018

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