The world's 10 safest low-cost airlines

Carriers' operational histories, incident records and operational excellence are among the criteria

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The Independent Online

The world's safest low-cost airlines have been revealed, according to a safety and product ratings website. said its list was based on a range of factors related to audits from aviation’s governing bodies and associations, government audits and carriers' fatality record.

It said it also examined each airline’s operational history, incident records and operational excellence.

In alphabetical order, the list includes Aer Lingus, Flybe, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia, Thomas Cook, TUI Fly, Virgin America, Volaris and Westjet. 

The two biggest European budget airlines, easyJet and Ryanair, also have fatality-free records, and last year safely flew around 180 million passengers between them.

However, the website said they do not make the final cut as "unlike a number of low-cost carriers, [the top 10 safest] airlines have all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and have excellent safety records".

Four of the carriers named are European - TUI Fly, Thomas Cook, Flybe, and Aer Lingus. Jetblue, Virgin America, and WestJet are all American carriers, while Volaris is Mexican. HK Express hails from Hong Kong, while Jetstar Australia, is Australian.

The website says it monitors 407 airlines. If an airline suffers a crash that results in a death of a crew member or passenger, a star is immediately deducted from its rankings.

 The 10 airlines with just one star hail from Nepal, Indonesia, or Surinam.  

Despite a number of high-profile aviation disasters including Germanwings and the two Malaysia Airlines incidents, last year was actually a significant improvement from 2014 - when there were 21 fatal accidents involving 986 fatalities.