Jacdec analysis: These are currently the most unsafe airlines in the world (2023)

A data analysis shows the most unsafe airlines among the major airlines. Some are no longer allowed to fly into EU airspace.

Jacdec analysis: These are currently the most unsafe airlines in the world (1)

FrankfurtThe strong recovery in air traffic after the corona pandemic is a tour de force for everyone involved in the industry. Because there is still a lack of staff. Someone boarding an airplane will ask themselves: How safe is my airline? How safe is flying?

The answer: Even after Corona, the plane is and will remain a safe means of transport. This is illustrated by a calculation by the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry (BDL). Accordingly, in the 1970s there was one fatality for every 264,000 passengers. In 2022 the ratio was one to almost 16 million.

In 2023, aviation has so far been spared major disasters. The Aviation Safety Network lists 106 fatalities between the beginning of the year and July 11 this year. The accidents of business and private jets are also recorded. The deadliest air accident to date is the crash of a regional jet operated by Yet Airlines in Pokhara, Nepal, killing 72.

Jacdec data: These are currently the most unsafe airlines

However, there are big differences in the safety standards of airlines. The Jacdec aviation accident agency analyzes how safe an airline is and rates it with a safety index. The data is updated three times a day throughout the year. They not only take into account total losses and the number of victims over the past 30 years. The framework conditions of the respective airline also play a role, such as an uncertain political situation. 100 percent is the maximum value that even top airlines cannot achieve.

>> Read here: Overtired staff jeopardize air traffic safety

Based on the Jacdec data, the Handelsblatt has recorded the larger airlines with the worst security status. For this purpose, those premium and low-cost providers were evaluated that are currently classified in the two categories "serious security deficits" and "critical security deficits" in the Jacdec statistics. These were then ranked based on the safety index.

13th place: Pobeda (Russia)

Pobeda is a low-cost airline and a wholly owned subsidiary of Aeroflot. The airline, which only started in 2014, actually has a good flight record. So far there have been no total losses. After the attack on Ukraine, however, the Russian aviation regulator allowed the national airlines to fly Western aircraft for which there was no longer any proof of so-called airworthiness. The EU has therefore put the airline on the black list, it is no longer allowed to land and take off here.

12th place: Spice Jet (India)

The Indian low-cost airline Spice Jet started in 2004, initially under the name Royal Airways. The main shareholder is the Indian investor Ajay Singh. According to Jacdec, there have been 26 serious incidents in the past ten years, and three total losses in 30 years. One person died as a result. In early July 2019, a Boeing 737 overran the runway while landing in Mumbai in adverse weather conditions. None of the occupants were injured.

Platz 11: Mahan Air (Iran)

Although Mahan Air was founded in 1991 by the son of then Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, it is a private airline. Because of the sanctions, the airline has to rely mainly on used aircraft. Jacdec cites the aging fleet as a risk; the aircraft have been in the air for an average of 27.8 years. In the last 30 years there have been three total losses, but people have not lost their lives. Another risk is the political situation in the country.

10th place: Vietnam Airlines (Vietnam)

Vietnam Airlines is the country's flag carrier. She belongs to the Allianz Skyteam around theLufthansa-RivalsAir France-KLMat. According to Jacdec, there have been 18 serious incidents in the last ten years. In 1997, a Tupolev 134 crashed on approach to Phnom Penh Pochentong Airport. Of the 66 occupants, only a one-year-old baby survived.

Platz 9:China Eastern Airlines(China)

China Eastern Airlines, based in Shanghai, started operations in 1988. The airline has suffered two total losses in the past 30 years, killing 137 people. On March 21, 2022, a Boeing 737 crashed on approach for landing near the city of Wuhzou. The jet fell from an altitude of almost 9,000 meters in just one and a half minutes, then recovered briefly and finally crashed into a forest. All 132 occupants were killed.

8th place: Pegasus Airlines (Türkiye)

Pegasus Airlines from Turkey has been flying since 1990. The low-cost airline also flies to German airports and relies heavily on tourist traffic. Since 1993 there have been two total losses. On October 5, 2020, a Boeing 737 overshot the runway while landing in Istanbul. The plane slid down a slope, collided with a wall and broke up. Three of the 183 occupants were killed in the accident and many others injured.

Platz 7:Indian water(If)

The airline Air India was long owned by the state, but was taken over in October 2021 by Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata industrial group. She has ambitious plansIndian waterrecently ordered 470 new jets. The Jacdec database lists 23 serious incidents over the past ten years. The last total loss was in 2014, no people have died in accidents in the last 30 years. However, according to Jacdec, the limited infrastructure in India is a risk factor.

Platz 6:Aeroflot(Russia)

Aeroflot was founded in 1992. The airline is majority owned by the state. The safety record since 1993 shows a total of twelve total losses with 136 deaths. On May 5, 2019, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 caught fire during an emergency landing in Moscow. 41 people could no longer save themselves. Like all Russian airlines, Aeroflot has suffered from being unable to get spare parts for Western planes after Russia invaded Ukraine because of sanctions. This further increases the risk.

5th place: Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian)

Ethiopian Airlines is a member of Star Alliance and flies to 125 destinations. Since 1993, the security record of Ethiopia's national airline has recorded a total of 18 serious incidents. On March 10, 2019, one fellBoeing737 Max after takeoff from Addis Ababa, 157 people died. The cause was the same as Lion Air Flight 610: improperly programmed control software that the pilots were inadequately informed about.

Platz 4:Egypt Air(Egypt)

Egypt Airstarted operations in 1932. It is the national airline of Egypt. The airline is a member of the Star Alliance aroundLufthansa. In the last 30 years there have been five total losses. On the night of May 19, 2016 collapsedAirbusThe company's A320 departed over the Mediterranean, killing all 66 people on board. Initially there was a suspicion of an attack, but French experts later blamed a cigarette in the cockpit for the fire breaking out.

3rd place: Lion Air (Indonesia)

The Indonesian airline Lion Air is regularly found in the Jacdec database with negative safety notices. Founded in 2000, there have been eight total losses with 214 fatalities in the last 30 years. At the end of October 2018 one fellBoeing737 Max due to aggressively programmed control software in Indonesia. 189 people died. The Jacdec experts note extreme weather in the region as a further risk.

Platz 2: Pakistan International Airlines (Pakistan)

In the past 30 years, Pakistan International Airlines has recorded 11 total losses with 191 deaths, according to Jacdec. In May 2020, the pilots flew oneAirbusA320 approached Karachi-Jinnah Airport too high despite multiple warnings from the controllers. The machine crashed on landing. 97 inmates died, only two survived. In addition, there is a poor infrastructure and the uncertain political situation in Pakistan.

1st place: UT Air (Russia)

UT Air has the lowest safety index. Jacdec has recorded ten serious incidents at the Russian airline over the past ten years. In the last 30 years there have been seven total losses with 39 fatalities. The last major accident happened in 2020. When landing in Ussinsk, the main landing gear broke and the plane skidded over the runway. All occupants survived.

The most unsafe airlines in summary:

12.Spice JetIf
11.Mahan AirIran
10.Vietnam AirlinesVietnam
9.China Eastern AirlinesChina
8.Pegasus AirlinesTürkiye
7.Indian waterIf
5.Ethiopian AirlinesEthiopia
4.Egypt AirEgypt
3.Lion AirIndonesia
2.Pakistan International AirlinesPakistan
1.UT AirRussia

More:Five graphs show how air traffic is changing in Europe

First publication: January 16, 2020, 11 a.m. (last updated: July 17, 2023, 11 a.m.).


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