And the world's ten safest airlines are ...
For all the griping about airline fees we do in this space and in the comments below, what is it we most care about when it comes to flying?
No, it ain't baggage upcharges and having to pay for an in-flight sandwich. It's safety, plain and simple.
Indeed, fees and travel taxes only obscure the end game with flying: get us there in one piece.
Which airlines do that best? You might be perturbed that no Canadian airline, nor American airline, ranks inside even the top 15 in safety among the world's carriers.
The Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) is a German airline safety firm, and every year for the past 30 the watchdog releases a list of the safest airlines on earth.
To do so, the JACDEC studies each airline's serious accidents and calculates a safety score relative to the size and scope of each outfit's operations.
The safest Canadian airline? That would be WestJet, which has only been operating since 1996 and on limited routes, but has a sterling track record, nonetheless. According to JACDEC data, there have been no hull loss accidents onboard WestJet's planes, and the outfit has no fatalities from crashes in its decade-plus of operation.
Air Canada, for its part, isn't far behind WestJet in safety. Despite nearly 60 more years of operation, only 23 people have died in an Air Canada accident since 1983. All 23, you might recall, died when a flash fire broke out on a plane forced into an emergency landing in 1983. Only two other significant accidents have been recorded for Air Canada since 1983, according to the JACDEC (109 people died in an Air Canada crash in 1970, before the JACDEC began its survey).
Yet their sturdy safety records aside, WestJet is just the 19th safest airline in the world, while Air Canada ranks in at no. 25. (The safest American airline is Southwest, at no. 21. Delta, United, American, US Airways and Alaska Airlines all make the top 50.)
Here are the ten safest airlines in the world, according to the JACDEC:
10) British Airways
9) Virgin Australia
8) Hainan Airlines (China)
7) TAP Portugal
6) EVA Air (Taiwan)
5) Ethihad Airways (U.A.E.)
4) Emirates (U.A.E.)
3) Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong)
2) Air New Zealand
1) Finnair (Finland)
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money