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Are Budget Airlines Less Safe Than Regular Airlines?

Early Tuesday, The New York Times reported that a Germanwings flight crashed in the French Alps, with all customers feared to be dead. With recent news of plane crashes flooding the news as of late, some are beginning to worry whether low-cost airlines are as safe as regular-cost airlines. For those who are already nervous about flying, the idea of “budget flight” may be too much to bear. But are these airlines actually any less safe?

In 2013, The Economist released an article explaining how low-cost airlines are able to offer such extraordinary deals. They found that the only real cost-cutting measures were those of reducing all amenities and filling flights to capacity. Further, it is worth noting that flying is one of the safest forms of transportation, with approximately 8 million people flying every day. In 2013 alone, 3.1 billion customers flew in airplanes – that’s about 40 percent of the world’s population. Since the creation of commercial airlines, only 15 plane accidents have occurred that saw fatalities at 250 or above.

As for whether or not those crashes are in any way related to budget airlines, have no fear. Only two out of the twenty worst plane crashes of United States airlines were low-cost airlines. On top of that, in 2011, AirTran – one of the largest US budget airlines – was rated the safest airlines. Southwest, another low-cost airline, came in second place. Given this incredible record of safety, flyers should have no worries resting easy on their flights, even despite the few recent accidents in some international airlines.

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