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Top 10 Safest Airlines in the UK - Ratings by AirAdvisor for 2023

Top 10 Safest UK Airlines - Ranked by AirAdvisor for 2023

Amy Lancelotte
Written By Amy Lancelotte
7 minutes read
Last Updated: November 28, 2023

Many people are concerned with safety in their daily lives, and taking to the skies is no different. In fact, it’s hard not to think about safety when you’re soaring 35,000 feet in the air. It’s only natural.

At AirAdvisor, we include safety as one of the top factors when rating an airline, so we reviewed the safety records of the Top 10 UK Airlines, and we found:

  • A total of 1,039 accidents involving passenger planes worldwide since 2005, and of those accidents, 150 resulted in fatalities.
  • Only 19 accidents involving United Kingdon-based airlines.
  • Zero fatal accidents with UK-based carriers.
  • One completely accident-free UK airline.

Using this data, we have compiled our list of the safest airlines (UK edition), and we think you’ll feel even more confident boarding your next flight once you read the overall findings.

While all of the UK airlines we looked at had flawless safety records between 2019 and 2023, we went back to 2005, using data from IATA to see just how accident-free UK airlines are.

#1 Safest UK Airline - Aurigny Air Services

The only UK airline with no reported accidents since 2005 is Aurigny Air Services. It should be noted that this carrier is one of the smallest airlines on our list. Fewer flights generally equals fewer accidents, but that doesn’t change the fact that Aurigny has been accident-free since 2005.

Specializing in service to and from Guernsey, Aurigny clearly takes safety seriously. So, if you need flights that involve the Channel Islands, the rest of the UK, or select destinations in Europe, this might be the airline for you.

One caveat to choosing Aurigny is that this airline was the least reliable overall in 2022 and 2023, according to our research. It had the highest percentage of cancelled flights in both years and higher-than-average delays. Luckily, if you encounter a disruption like this with Aurigny, we can help sort out your delayed flight compensation and cancellation rights as they relate to the UK 261 regulation.

The Next 4 Safest Airlines UK

Airline safety ratings for the United Kingdom

With only one accident reported each in our selected period, here are the next safest airlines in alphabetical order:

Blue Islands

Another Channel Islands airline, also with a small number of annual flights, Blue Islands’ only accident occurred in 2012 and was the result of a problem with the plane’s landing gear. This one was not fatal like all the UK airline accidents in our data. Although the aircraft sustained substantial damage, all of the 43 passengers came away without injury.

A single accident from over ten years ago shouldn’t deter you from using Blue Islands at all. The only problem might be finding a flight that suits you since they operate less than 10,000 total flights annually.

Eastern Airways

Eastern Airways is the smallest airline in our group, with an average of about 5,000 flights every year. Even a single accident in a given year can make the accident percentage seem high. That said, Eastern’s only accident on record from 2005 to 2023 was back in 2007, non-fatal, and the aircraft experienced ground damage.

This regional airline is an excellent choice for flights within the UK to the less populated areas that larger carriers won’t visit. But like Aurigny, Eastern Airways is one of the least reliable airlines in the UK, so tread lightly.

Have you experienced a flight delay with Eastern Airways or another UK-based airline? Contact us to start your compensation claim right away!Check Your Flight

Loganair

Moving away from England and the Channel Islands, our next entry with a single accident is Glasgow-based Loganair. This carrier’s accident is more recent and took place in 2015. The incident occurred during takeoff when the plane experienced a runway excursion. It veered left off the runway and came to a stop. The nose gear collapsed, and only two of the 30 passengers on board had minor injuries.

TUI Airways

Completing our list of airlines with one accident reported, TUI Airways is another safe choice for your next flight. TUI’s accident in 2010 was classified as a hard landing, likely due to adverse weather conditions. The aircraft hit the ground hard upon landing, where the nose of the plane touched down first. It then settled onto the landing gear and could taxi to the gate. No fatalities occurred, but the 258 passengers definitely had a shock.

The Other Airlines

Just because these next airlines didn’t make the top five doesn’t mean they have dire safety records. Pretty much the opposite is true when you think about how many UK-based flights take off and land daily. They experienced between two and five accidents from 2005 to October 2023. Here is a summary:

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic planes were involved in two accidents of note: one was a tail strike in 2006, and the other was runway damage in 2013. Again, no fatalities occurred, so Virgin remains a safe choice.

Wizz Air

Wizz Air UK and its parent company, Wizz Air Hungary, were involved in a hard landing in 2009 and a landing gear problem in 2013. It's not exactly recent, but it's still worth noting. And that hard landing would have been felt by passengers even more since Wizz Air was the worst scorer on our list of the Most Comfortable UK Airlines.

EasyJet

Even with three accidents, easyJet is among the safest airlines UK

Now we move on to the UK airlines with three accidents reported. EasyJet, the largest airline by passenger volume in the United Kingdom, runs up to nearly 500,000 flights annually. That’s significantly more than any airline we’ve mentioned so far.

When you compare easyJet to an airline like Aurigny or Eastern, as a percentage, they’ve had much fewer accidents. But since any accident is upsetting and can be traumatic or fatal, we thought it best to focus on the raw numbers.

EasyJet has one of the more recent accidents, which happened in 2018. The accident involved a bird strike in both engines and also resulted in runway damage. The other two accidents were a tail strike in 2011 and a hard landing in 2014.

Jet2

Also with three reported accidents, Jet2’s record is similar to easyJet’s, although Jet2 operates about 20% of the flights that easyJet does. So, as a percentage, technically, their record is worse. The accidents themselves involved in-flight damage to the plane in 2008, a hard landing in 2014, and a tail strike on landing in 2017.

Need help figuring out how much compensation you’re owed from a UK-based airline? Use our flight calculator today.Check Your Flight

British Airways

British Airways had the most accidents from 2005 to 2023

According to IATA, British Airways has the most accidents from 2005 to 2023: five. But, like easyJet, don’t let that number fool you. None of the accidents were fatal, and since BA operates around 250,000 flights per year, the chances of being involved in an accident are infinitesimally low. Is British Airways safe? Yes, absolutely.

The reported accidents range from 2006 to 2015 and generally involve in-flight and ground damage. The most significant incident happened in 2008 when a hull loss on touchdown occurred. It's certainly scary to live through, but not fatal.

Data Summary

UK Airline

Number of Accidents from 2005 to October 2023

Accident Details

Aurigny Air Services

0

Not applicable

Blue Islands

1

16/06/2012 - problem with landing gear

Eastern Airways

1

26/06/2007 - ground damage

Loganair

1

02/01/2015 - runway excursion

TUI

1

03/10/2010 - hard landing

Virgin Atlantic

2

16/07/2006 - tail strike
24/12/2013 - runway damage

Wizz Air

2

12/04/2009 - hard landing
08/06/2013 - problem with landing gear

easyJet

3

24/02/2011 - tail strike

14/02/2014 - hard landing

27/03/2018 - bird strikes in both engines; runway damage

Jet2

3

15/08/2008 - in-flight damage
17/02/2014 - hard landing

10/04/2017 - tail strike on landing

British Airways

5

26/06/2006 - ground damage

17/01/2008 - hull loss on touchdown

24/05/2013 - in-flight damage

22/12/2013 - ground damage

08/09/2015 - ground damage

Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed our look at the airline safety rating for these ten UK-based airlines and now feel confident the next time you board a flight. The truth is that all UK airlines are safe, which is demonstrated by the complete lack of fatalities in the data. You’re far, far more likely to run into a disruption like a flight cancellation than you are to experience an accident. And at least with a flight cancellation, we can help you claim compensation!

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Luna 10.02.2024

What about Skybus? They fly to the Isles of Scilly. Thanks for the info though, makes me feel very safe.

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