World's safest low-cost airlines 2019 revealed
See which carriers made the AirlineRatings.com rankings
January is traditionally a month when families around the world are counting the cost of the festive period – and wondering where they can make a few financial cutbacks during the year ahead.
These can sometimes involve holidays and trips abroad, if not hotel accommodation then the level of luxury for flights.
And while we all want to take the safest passage possible, low-cost is a must when budget restrictions dictate.
To ease the fears of those who are more used to flying on an Airbus A380 or Boeing Dreamliner, airlineratings.com has revealed its top 10 low-cost airlines for 2019.
They are, in alphabetical order, Flybe, Frontier, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia / Asia, Thomas Cook, Volaris, Vueling, Westjet and Wizz Air.
The review website's editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas told The National that low-cost doesn't necessarily mean least safe when it comes to air travel. "All the airlines we ranked in our top 10 low-cost airlines are seven-star airlines, so technically they are as good as the top 20."
He added that some low-cost airlines do not fit all the safety options, such as Indonesia's Lion Air, which did not have the Angle of Attack comparison software (between captain and co-pilot).
The safety of low-cost carriers came under the spotlight in 2018 when a plane belonging to Lion Air crashed in October, killing all 189 people on board.
A preliminary report from Indonesia’s transportation safety commission pointed to maintenance issues on the Boeing 737 Max and recommended that Lion Air improve its safety culture. The airline disagreed, however, and was unhappy with Boeing's handling of the situation.
Unlike a number of low-cost carriers, the airlines in the top 10 list have all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and were found to have excellent safety records.
This year's list includes a few new names, with Volaris and Wizz making it into the top 10 at the expense of Aer Lingus and Virgin America.
The calculations are based on audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead association, government audits, airline’s crash and serious incident record, and the fleet age.
Fifteen separate plane crashes in 2018 resulted in 556 deaths, yet 2018 was the third-safest year in aviation history in terms of the number of fatal accidents and the ninth-safest in terms of lives lost, according to the Aviation Safety Network.
Updated: January 8, 2019 09:44 AM