Just how safe is the airline you fly with?

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  • John Lambert says:

    The rating system re safety is seriously flawed. I undertook a review of airline safety rating methods for BHP in 1996 and advised them of the correct way to rate airlines.
    The best airlines have a fatal incident rate of no more than 1 fatal incident (a flight where someone is killed) per 10,000,000 flights. As a result the rating system should relate to numbers of flights not years.
    In the USA in 2008 there were a total of 13,500,000 air carrier flights (flights of planes with a seating capacity of at least 60 or a payload capacity of more than 8.17 tonnes). If all those operators had safety ratings in the range of the best 30 – 35 world airlines then you would expect on average one flight per annum where at least one person is killed.
    In contrast in 2010/11 there were 750,000 domestic and international flights. If all those operators had safety ratings in the range of the best 30 – 35 world airlines then you would expect on average one flight every 20 years where at least one person is killed.
    And as a comment, Qantas has not flown enough flights to claim it is very safe – it undertook 220,000 Australian flights in 2010/11 (99,000 by Qantas link). Adding international flights that did not start of end in Australia would bring the total to no more than around 320,000 flights per annum (the average for 1986-96 was 96,000 flights by Qantas alone). To date the writer estimates Qantas and Qantaslink have only flown 7,000,000 to 8,000,000 flights – so the fact they have not had a fatality does not put them in the worlds best class, especially given the number of serious near misses they have had.

  • John Lambert says:

    “In contrast in 2010/11 there were 750,000 domestic and international flights” should read “In contrast in 2010/11 there were 750,000 domestic and international flights across Australia.”

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