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Date: 16/02/2013

Safest airlines to travel with

Although there are minimum safety standards to which all airlines must conform, there are airlines which go above and beyond these to ensure the security of their passengers and therefore boast a reputation for being safer than their counterparts. Whilst it is true that occasional accidents do happen very rarely, these are generally attributable to unforeseen circumstances rather than inherent safety standards, such as bird strike and severe weather conditions. That being said, flying is one of the safest modes of transport with major incidents and accidents accounting for a minuscule proportion of all flights, which is why they make such big news whenever casualties are involved. Officially, airlines can be ranked according to the number of incidents which resulted in fatalities or minor accidents over a thirty year period, but most of the forerunners haven't had any such events. 

Finnair, the Finnish airline whose hub is at Helsinki-Vantaa airport and flies to 55 international destinations, ranked as the safest airline for the period ending at the close of 2012. Next in line is Air New Zealand with a destination list which includes 29 airports in 15 countries and whose flagship flights are the only ones to circumnavigate the globe. Third safest is Cathay Pacific, the flag carrier airline based in Hong Kong's International Airport which flies to 168 destinations and was made famous when the airline made the first nonstop transpolar flight the world had ever seen. They are the third largest airline in the world and the largest international cargo airline. Emirates is the fourth safest, based in Dubai and is the largest airline in the Middle East, responsible as it is for over 2500 flights every week to 74 countries on six continents. Fifth safest is Etihad Airway, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, flies to 55 different countries and also owns a stake in several other airlines such as Aer Lingus, Virgin Australia and Air Berlin. 

The next safest airlines are EVA Air, which is based in Taiwan; Portuguese Airline TAP; Hainan Airlines, China's largest privately owned airline; Virgin Australia which has the largest fleet of any airline under the Virgin brand; and at number ten in the rankings is British Airways, which has the largest fleet of any of the UK carriers.

Whichever airline you choose for your travel, you can rest assured that you are very unlikely to be involved in any kind of incident occurring because of the inherent safety of the plane. However the frustration of losing your luggage, missing a flight or even having to cancel a holiday due to illness are all potentially costly so having travel insurance is important to ensure that you minimise any risk to your pocket.