Airlines that have never had a single accident

At least 49 major airlines have never suffered a fatal accident – Editorial iStock

Remember the famous scene in Rain Man during which Dustin Hoffman’s character refuses to fly with any airline other than Qantas based on its impeccable safety record? You probably won’t if you watched it on an airplane: The scene was cut from a version shown in the skies out of fear it might alarm passengers (Qantas, of course, stuck with the original).

Despite this, the film had a lasting impact on the public consciousness. Qantas still has a reputation as the safest airline in the world, but is it justified? In 2022, it slipped from first to seventh place in the respected safety rankings due to a small “increase in accidents”, with Air New Zealand taking first place.

It’s worth noting that, despite being among the safest to fly on, neither airline has completely avoided deadly disasters in the past (Qantas had a handful in the pre-jet era, while Air New Zealand happened in 1979 when a DC-10-30 crashed during a scenic flight over Antarctica). Shows historical crashes aren’t the best way to measure safety: The survey looks at only fatal crashes in the past five years, along with government audits, crash reports, and more.

“We worked with the International Civil Aviation Organization, the governing body,” says Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of “And the rationale was that a five-year period is an acceptable period for the airline to learn from the mistake, rectify the systems that contributed to the mistake, and then come out the other end and say, ‘look, we’ve learned. from that and we moved on’.”

Meanwhile, our table of airlines that have never had a fatal accident (see below), compiled with data from, includes Novair, banned from EU and UK airspace along with all others Armenian carriers due to concerns over the country’s aviation safety. Then there’s IndiGo, an Indian low-cost airline that reportedly reported 35 serious accidents since 2013.

“If an airline is banned by the EU or banned by the Americans, it automatically gets downgraded,” says Thomas. “We look at blacklisting and it is part of our audit process. No airline included in the EU blacklist will appear in our list of the safest airlines.”

Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in Rain Man - Alamy

Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in Rain Man – Alamy

As for other uneventful carriers, “it can be pure luck,” says Thomas. “You might have an airline that’s just starting out, they have a plane and, hey, ‘we’re the safest airline in the world.'”

With whomever you fly, the chances of being involved in a fatal accident are very low. In 2018, the Aviation Safety Network calculated the likelihood of an airline suffering such a disaster at about one in 2.52 million. So far in 2022, there have been four fatal crashes involving planes with 14 or more passengers according to, including one in March that killed all 132 people on board when a Boeing 737-800 operated by China Eastern crashed into the Guangxi mountains.

Shortly after, the Wall Street Journal published an article suggesting that preliminary assessment reports from US officials indicated the incident was intentional, but this type of foul play is highly unusual. Tragic disasters often occur on domestic flights in countries like Nepal and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where planes can be so old that they lack modern GPS systems and pilots have to rely on weather stations for condition reports.

However, for the more cautious, we’ve taken a look at the airlines that make the top 20 (or the top 10 budget airlines) and have never had any fatalities or hull losses. The added bonus? Most of them operate flights from the UK.

The safest airlines in the skies?


Voted among the top 10 safest low-cost providers by, EasyJet has not suffered a fatality or hull loss since it first took off in 1995. However, it had a near miss in 2019 after it both pilots used the erroneous measurements to calculate the length of Lisbon airport’s runway, averting disaster by just 1.3 seconds according to a report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

Ryanair, the UK’s other big-name low-cost carrier, also scores well in terms of safety, despite an incident in 2008 when a huge flock of starlings at Rome-Ciampino Airport caused both engines to stall, causing a hard landing resulting in injured passengers and crew and the aircraft written off.

EasyJet has an impeccable safety record - Reuters

EasyJet has an impeccable safety record – Reuters

Hawaiian Airlines

Operating since 1929, Hawaiian is among the world’s oldest airlines but, surprisingly, has never suffered a single fatal accident or hull loss. Soaring between Hawaii, Australia, Asia and the mainland United States, it still remains one of the safest carriers in the skies, coming in at number 12 in the survey. After living through a world war and nearly a century of continuous service, the airline hasn’t let the small matter of two bankruptcies in ten years (between 1993 and 2013) get in the way of its flawless record. However, in December 2022, at least 36 people were injured (11 of them seriously) when one of the airline’s planes experienced turbulence while landing in Honolulu. The US National Transportation Safety Board is launching an investigation into the accident.

Virgin Atlantic

The longest-running UK commercial airline never to suffer a fatal accident or hull loss is Richard Branson’s daughter, born in 1984, while its sister company Virgin Australia also has a clean slate. Surprisingly, according to research by, the airline has had just 17 serious accidents in its nearly 40-year history (for comparison, EasyJet had 51). Having ditched its all-makeup, no-tattoos rules, Virgin is also a progressive choice. Simple Flying reported that job applications to the airline have doubled since it introduced a uniform gender-neutral policy in 2022.

Virgin Cabin Crew - PA

Virgin Cabin Crew – PA

Wizza Air

It may not be the most comfortable journey, but Wizz Air’s safety record is truly impressive. Since its launch in 2004, it has avoided accidents resulting in fatalities or hull damage and beat Virgin Atlantic in JACDEC analyst’s aviation safety risk rankings for commercial aviation safety for 2021, coming in at a respectable 24th place (although rival EasyJet was 13th).

Against a backdrop of industry cuts and airline closures, Wizz is bucking the trend with significant expansion across Europe. However, in 2022, three anonymous pilots have expressed concerns about working hours, low pay and morale The mirrorwith one saying that long shifts could impact safety (the airline has flatly rejected the claims).

Partly due to the different treatment of pilots between low-cost and traditional carriers, groups them separately in its rankings. “We believe that a budget airline will not pay the highest salaries for pilots. That’s not necessarily the case with all low-cost airlines because there are some great ones, but in general, if you’re a pilot, who would you rather fly for? “Number one low-cost airline” or Qantas? You would like to fly for Qantas, because you get paid so much more.”

EVA air

With routes to Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea and China, EVA Air Taiwan is not only accident-free, but also earns five-star customer experience in Taiwan’s certified rating scheme. Skytrax measuring service excellence. Founded in 1989, the airline has been awarded a comprehensive safety rating of 7/7 by Its relatively small size (it has 85 planes) may help, but safer airlines also have their moments: witness the 2021 EVA crash when passengers on a flight from Taipei to Guam got shock during a landing blocked. Although the aircraft ascended before landing safely 20 minutes later, it was subsequently grounded for inspection according to the Aviation Herald.

Qatar Airways

With the most serious incident occurring on board, presumably particularly severe turbulence, Qatar is another safe bet. Having one of the youngest fleets in the skies helps. “We look at the age of the fleet for our assessments,” Thomas says. “It’s not perfect because if Qantas takes care of a 25-year-old airplane, you can bet every dollar that it will be in perfect condition. But typically, younger aircraft like the A350 and 787 have all the safety features as standard.”

Qatar’s chief executive, Akbar al Baker, is “at the forefront of demand from aircraft manufacturers, the best in technology and the best in design,” says Thomas. But it hasn’t all been easy: A 2017 blockade by Saudi Arabia and its allies (including the UAE) forced Qatar Airways to make sustained diversions off major Middle Eastern routes into 2021.

Akbar al Baker (left), CEO of Qatar Airways - Shutterstock

Akbar al Baker (left), CEO of Qatar Airways – Shutterstock


Etihad finished second in JACDEC’s aviation safety risk rankings for 2021 after Emirates (which is not on our list of accident-free airlines due to a 2016 crash landing that resulted in the loss of its hull and the death of a firefighter). It’s also one of the cleanest carriers out there, earning the highest Diamond score in the APEX health safety certification scheme which is based on airline audits. In October 2022, he made headlines for other reasons when he raised the cost of bringing a cat on board to around £1,300 per person as falcons (the UAE’s national bird) continue to get a free ride.

Other airlines with no fatalities

Using data from, these are the 49 major airlines that have never suffered a fatal accident (excludes carriers whose parent company has suffered fatal accidents):

  1. Aegean Airlines

  2. Southern air

  3. Astana air

  4. AirBaltic

  5. Air Berlin

  6. Macau air

  7. Air Malta

  8. Aria Maurice

  9. Seychelles air

  10. Tanzanian air

  11. Airplane transport

  12. Arkia Israel Airlines

  13. Brazilian Azul Airlines

  14. Bahamasair

  15. Chief Air

  16. Caribbean Airlines

  17. Cayman Airways

  18. Easyjet

  19. Emirates

  20. Etihad Airways

  21. EVA air

  22. Hainan Airlines

  23. Hawaiian Airlines

  24. Indigo

  25. Jazeera Airways

  26. Jet Blue

  27. Juneyao Airlines

  28. Mahan Air

  29. Norwegian

  30. Nouveau Tunisia

  31. Novair

  32. Omani air

  33. Porter airlines

  34. Qatar Airways

  35. Ryanair

  36. Shenzhen Airlines

  37. Sichuan Airlines

  38. SkyMark Airlines

  39. Smartwings

  40. Spirit Airlines

  41. Sun Country Airlines

  42. Sunexpress airlines

  43. Tunisian

  44. Turkmenistan airlines

  45. Virgin Atlantic/Australia/America

  46. Long live Air Colombia

  47. Volaris

  48. WestJet airlines

  49. Wizza Air

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