AirlineRatings.com safest low-cost carriers for 2017
5:01 AM EST, Thu January 5, 2017
Thomas Cook: AirlineRatings.com has released its annual list of the world's safest airlines -- including a rundown of the 10 low-cost carriers it says are the safest. Among them is Thomas Cook Airlines, an offshoot of the venerable British travel agency. Click on through the gallery to find out the other nine safest budget carriers, in alphabetical order.
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Aer Lingus: Ireland's national flag carrier took the bold step of repositioning itself as a low-cost airline after the financial crisis of 2008 left it struggling with heavy losses and facing drastic staff cuts.
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Flybe: Another well-established carrier, Flybe began life as Jersey European Airways in 1979 and has undergone several rebrandings before emerging as Flybe in 2002. Its impeccable safety record has been unblemished by unusual recent events including a bee attack on a pilot and an incident in which a pilot's false arm fell off.
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HK Express: Founded in 2004, HKExpress transformed itself into a low-cost carrier in 2013 in an effort to reverse its troubled fortunes. AirlineRatings.com says all the budget carriers on its list have passed stringent International Air Transport Association operational safety audits, unlike many of their rivals.
JetBlue: Now in its 17th year, JetBlue originally sold itself as being a cut above other no-frills airlines, by claiming to offer better in-flight entertainment perks. It has bases in New York, Long Island, Boston, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and has a fleet of more than 240 aircraft.
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Jetstar Australia: A budget offshoot of Aussie carrier Qantas, Jetstar has hubs in most major Australian cities and is headquartered in Melbourne.
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Jetstar Asia: Jetstar Asia, based out of Singapore, has differentiated itself from the competition through fun marketing ploys such as bringing in a feng shui master to analyze its fleet of A320s.
Virgin America: Virgin America was founded in 2007 and was recently acquired by Alaska Air Group. An expanded route network now covers 118 destinations across the US, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba.
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Vueling: Established in 2004, Vueling is a Spanish low-cost airline headquartered out of Barcelona El Prat Airport and is part of the International Airlines Group (IAG). In March 2017 it will launch a new route between Birmingham, UK and Paris-Orly.
WestJet: One of the oldest airlines on this list, Canada's WestJet was launched in 1996. Based in Calgary, it offers destinations, some via code share, across Canada, America, the Caribbean, Ireland and the UK.