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Only two U.S. airlines made this ranking of the world’s 20 safest carriers in 2017

Domestic airlines also rank lowest for customer satisfaction

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By Kari Paul, MarketWatch


Reuters
In calculating the ratings, AirlineRatings.com took into account only large incidents that caused safety issues for passengers.

Last year was the safest on record for air travel, with no fatal crashes on commercial airlines and the fewest deaths in history on small carriers.

However, only two of the safest airlines was based in the U.S.

The safest airlines, according to a new report from AirlineRatings.com, are largely based in Asia and the U.K. Rated alphabetically, the safest airlines to fly are Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines /zigman2/quotes/200972303/composite ALK -5.02% , All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways /zigman2/quotes/203532437/delayed HK:293 -5.03% , Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair /zigman2/quotes/200297452/delayed FI:FIA1S -5.25% , Hawaiian Airlines /zigman2/quotes/203188135/composite HA -7.10% , Japan Airlines /zigman2/quotes/200421658/delayed DE:JAL +0.64% , KLM /zigman2/quotes/201457369/composite KLMR -2.10% , Lufthansa  /zigman2/quotes/201210530/delayed XE:LHA -2.09% , /zigman2/quotes/205878984/delayed DE:QAN -4.46% , Royal Jordanian Airlines, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines /zigman2/quotes/208369943/delayed SG:C6L -1.04% , Swissair, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.

‘When there are accidents they generally call on the U.S. to investigate.’

Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org

In calculating the ratings, AirlineRatings.com took into account only large incidents that caused safety issues for passengers, as well as which airlines launch safer air crafts with better technology, the site’s editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas, said.

“All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems,” he said. “And it is the way the flight crew handles incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one.” (Airlines for America, an advocacy organization for domestic airlines, was not immediately available for comment.)

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However, because there are very few accidents in the air travel space, those rankings are difficult to make, Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org said. In 2017, there were only 13 fatalities in crashes of smaller aircraft, according to a report released Tuesday by the Dutch aviation consulting firm To70, down from 217 deaths in 2016, 471 deaths in 2015, and 864 deaths in 2014.

What’s more, the U.S. is among the top in the world for investigating accidents, from the traditional “ black box ” collecting plane crash information to new technologies like satellite-based data collection.

“When there are accidents they generally call on the U.S. to investigate,” Hudson said. “A big part of safety is figuring out what went wrong when an accident occurred, and we have the best team for that in the U.S.”

/zigman2/quotes/200972303/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 34.44
-1.82 -5.02%
Volume: 2.18M
July 9, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
8.06
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$4.44 billion
Rev. per Employee
$353,525
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/zigman2/quotes/203532437/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 6.80
-0.36 -5.03%
Volume: 22.19M
July 10, 2020 4:08p
P/E Ratio
15.82
Dividend Yield
2.65%
Market Cap
HK$28.44 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$4.27M
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/zigman2/quotes/200297452/delayed
FI : Finland: Helsinki
0.58
-0.03 -5.25%
Volume: 4.50M
July 10, 2020 1:20p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
€793.43 million
Rev. per Employee
€438,657
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/zigman2/quotes/203188135/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 12.82
-0.98 -7.10%
Volume: 1.11M
July 9, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
15.49
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$634.11 million
Rev. per Employee
$391,501
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200421658/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
15.70
+0.10 +0.64%
Volume: 0.00
July 10, 2020 8:08a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201457369/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 12.10
-0.26 -2.10%
Volume: 584.00
July 9, 2020 11:21a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201210530/delayed
XE : Germany: Xetra
8.54
-0.18 -2.09%
Volume: 1.94M
July 10, 2020 12:20p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
€4.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
€264,465
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/zigman2/quotes/205878984/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
2.14
-0.10 -4.46%
Volume: 0.00
July 10, 2020 8:00a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208369943/delayed
SG : Singapore: SGX
$ 3.81
-0.04 -1.04%
Volume: 4.69M
July 9, 2020 5:04p
P/E Ratio
2,721
Dividend Yield
2.10%
Market Cap
$11.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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Kari Paul is a personal finance reporter based in New York. You can follow her on Twitter @kari_paul.

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