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Travel Advice – World’s Best Airlines – and Airplane Accidents

Updated on March 27, 2011

Commercial Airplanes

For every year that passes, there is an average of 22 fatal accidents involving commercial airplanes worldwide. This number will increase in future as more commercial airplanes increases due to increasing number of travellers. Of these 22 fatal accidents, 50% will be caused due to pilot error, 22% will be due to mechanical failure of the aircraft, 12% will be due to poor weather conditions, 9% will be caused by sabotage and terrorism, whilst 7% will be due to other causes including other human errors.

Very Few Accidents to Bother You

But wait a minute, 22 fatal accidents in one year for the whole planet earth are very few accidents to bother you in your travel plans. The information on what causes aircraft’s accidents is summarised in the table below.

What Causes Aircraft’s Accidents

(click column header to sort results)
Cause of accident  
% of Total Accidents  
Pilot Error
Mechanical Failure
Poor Weather
Sabotage and Terrorism
Traffic controllers and other Human errors
what causes aircraft’s accidents

Where to Sit In an Airplane

In an aircraft, the rear end is the area with the highest chance to survive an air crash – now you think you know where to sit next time. This may not always be true.

Scheduled Flights and Chartered Flights

Scheduled flights are operated by airlines in large fixed-wing aircrafts and in strict schedules. Chartered flights are flights that are not operated by airlines but are hired by travel agencies or by other airlines to link passengers to other destination. In Scheduled flights, there is an average of 7 fatalities from plane accidents for every one million flight hours (this is more than 500 million kilometres). In Chartered flights, there is an average of 15 fatalities from accidents for every one million flight hours. If you compare this with the Road Crash fatality rate you will see that an airplane is far much safer than a car.

The Odds of Being Involved In a Fatality Accident

(click column header to sort results)
Probability Of You Being Involved In A Fatality Accident  
Probability Of You Being Killed In Aircraft Accident  
Scheduled Flights
1 in 5,000,000
1 in 9,000,000
Chartered Flights
1 in 200,000
1 in 500,000
The Probability of Being Involved In a Fatality Airplane Accident

Phases Of A Flight Where Accidents Happens

(click column header to sort results)
Phase Of Flight  
% of Total Accidents  
Towing, Loading, Unloading, Taxing And Parking
12 %
Taking Off
12 %
Initial Climbing
8 %
Full Climb With Flaps Up
10 %
8 %
4 %
Initial Approach
10 %
Final Approach
11 %
25 %
Which phases of a flight do most airplane accident happens?

Why Short Distance Planes Have Higher Chance of Accidents

If the distance between Miami and New York is 1500 kilometres and the distance between Miami and London is 7500 kilometres, then the distance for 5 trips between Miami and New York will equate to 1 trip between Miami and London. The take off, climbing, descent and landing phases of a flight are more prone to accidents than the cruising phase of a flight. A plane that fly 5 trips between Miami and new York has a higher chance of being involved in an accident than a plane that fly Miami and London for the same distance. This is because the plane cruising between Miami and New York has five times as much take off and landing than a plane flying between Miami and London.

List of World’s Best Airlines

(click column header to sort results)
Singapore Airlines
Thai Airways
Cathay Pacific - Hong Kong
Qatar Airways,
Malaysia Airlines
Air New Zealand
China Airlines
British Airways
List of World’s Best Airlines

Qantas Airways - One of the Finest Airlines in the World

Qantas Airways - One of the finest airlines in the World fly over buildings in London. Image credit: Wikipedia
Qantas Airways - One of the finest airlines in the World fly over buildings in London. Image credit: Wikipedia

Enjoy Your Travel to the Fullest

The fact that an airline is in this list of world’s best airlines does not mean it can not be involved in an accident tomorrow. Stop thinking about air accidents and enjoy your life to the fullest --- if it’s your day, then it will find you anywhere, including when you are asleep in bed at your own home.

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    • RalphGreene profile image

      RalphGreene 6 years ago

      Gosh!That was too close to the rooftop(referring to the last picture). Amazing! Never knew this before.Thanks for this information, ngureco .

    • profile image

      BigJim 7 years ago

      That is a QANTAS jet not Qatar, you can tell because it has a red tail with a white kangaroo and it also has QANTAS written on the side. They are from Australia. Oprah went there recently. John Travolta works for QANTAS. Do you know what they call a quarter pounder in Paris?

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

      Wow, thanks for answering my request! This is very interesting information, much more than I was expecting to get!

    • Eddy2106 profile image

      Eddy2106 7 years ago from Chicago Suburb, IL

      Wake up call for traveling by air. Makes you think about saftey, scary but great hub.

    • profile image 7 years ago

      thanks Ngureco, very well researched - I used to love watching Air Crash Investigation - it would be interesting to also know the proportion of accidents to flights(or kilometers of flying) over the years - I suspect they would have come down.

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 7 years ago

      what a research,these are really worth knowing and assuring informations,and prove me right,as while landing I always try to sit very alert and keeping a tight grip, panicked till the plain is not on its wheals and sound of breaks sounds so sweet,Thanks for assuring.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for doing so much research and sharing all these information.