Air France-KLM, British Airways and Lufthansa are the safest airlines in Europe, according to a new study ranking the 10 safest airlines by the Air Transport Rating Agency (ATRA).
The safest US-based airlines are AMR Corporation, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways, while the safest from Asia is Japan Airlines, it said, without giving a ranking within the top 10.
The ATRA is a rating agency based in Geneva (Switzerland) dealing with aviation risk assessment and advanced data analyses in the aviation sector.
To obtain this classification, the first of its kind, ATRA examined publicly available information on 15 criteria, such as the average age of the aircraft used or the homogeneity of the fleet, it said.
The agency explained that to understand airline safety, one needed not only to look at accident figures, but also "technical, human, organisational and external" elements.
External factors such as environmental criteria are not taken into account.
"Even though the European Union publishes a 'blacklist' of dangerous airlines, there exists a real difference in safety between the other airline companies," ATRA added.
World's 10 safest airlines (in alphabetical order)
AMR Corporation (American Airlines, American Eagles)