Read This If You’re Afraid Of Flying

Image: Norah Stone.
If just the thought of getting on an airplane makes you a little — or a lot — queasy, you're not alone. But flying an airline with a safe track record can at least offer some peace of mind. has released its list of the top 20 safest airlines and top 10 safest low-cost airlines for 2017 from the 425 it monitors, so you might want to reference this next time you book your tickets. Australia's Qantas, which has a fatality-free jet-liner record, tops the list for the fourth year straight — the site heralded it as a leader in safety innovation. Also included in the top 20 are Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Delta, KLM, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, United, and Virgin Atlantic. The top 10 safest low-cost airlines include Aer Lingus, HK Express, JetBlue, and WestJet. When compiling its list, considers factors like: "audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations; government audits; airline’s crash and serious incident record; profitability, and fleet age," as well as each airline’s record of spearheading new safety technology. Here's another finding that might make you feel a bit better about getting into a tin can in the sky: The site reports that while air crashes are always big news (think the Brazilian soccer team's crash in Colombia back in November), statistics from the Netherlands-based Aviation Safety Network (ASN) show that 2016 was the second safest year on record to fly. "Despite some high-profile accidents in 2016, the number of crashes has shown a steady and persistent decline over the past two decades," according to the site. The ASN looked at crashes worldwide and found that in 2016 there were 19 fatal airliner accidents and 325 deaths. While 11 of the accidents and 288 deaths involved passenger flights, the ASN noted that this translates to a one-in-3.2 million chance of being involved in a fatality. For a full list of the safest airlines, see

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