Which airlines are the most “popular” in Air Crash Investigation?

I don’t know why in the last few days many people around me have asked me what I think about the safety of this or that airline, or which airlines are the most or least safe for us.

I think that this sudden interest has something to do with the many articles that have just been published about a recent BEA report mentioning alleged breaches of certain safety rules at Air France with as a highlight a long article from La Tribune which reports on other equally worrying facts.

I will not venture further on the subject, aviation safety is a matter for professionals and therefore I am waiting to read what the professionals will say on the subject.

That said someone asked me a question that left me unanswered and actually inspired this slightly more entertaining post. “You who watch all the time, what are the most frequently featured airlines in Air Crash Investigation?“.

For those who don’t know, Air Crash Investigation is a show that dissects and analyzes air accidents. For those who are curious, here is the list of episodes and know that the last seasons are available on Disney +.

With Olivier we admit that it is one of our favorite series and that we even take a malicious pleasure to watch episodes in flight. But I also think that it is a very educational series that should interest all the people who are interested in air transport or even those who are afraid of flying. Indeed and paradoxically it shows all the efforts made every day to constantly improve air safety and that when something goes wrong it is most often due to a succession of highly improbable events. It is therefore rather reassuring and helps to understand many things that worry the passengers as long as they remain mysterious.

And it’s true that if we have the impression that some airlines appear more often than others, I never had fun to count the number of appearances of each one.

But first of all, even if I found the question interesting, I find the question badly put. It’s not because an airline appears in the series that it has a safety problem and sometimes it’s the opposite! A flight can end up in a perilous situation through no fault of the crew or the airline and the worst is avoided because of the quality of the pilots and their training! Then there are human errors in the cockpit, in air traffic control and many other factors for which it is difficult to make an airline responsible. In an episode I recently watched, the culprit was even the FAA !

In short, no hasty conclusions should be drawn from the following figures. I got them simply by looking at the list of episodes with an excel sheet and “cleaning” some data (military flights, private flights, government flights, trains…). On the other hand I kept the cargo. I counted the aircraft involved so when an incident involves aircraft from several airlines I counted each one even if one of them is not responsible for anything.

I could have done some grouping: put American Airlines and American Eagle together, for example. But should Air Inter be attached to Air France? Attributing a SwissAir crash to Swiss? US Air to US Airways? So I left things as they were.

And here is the result. And again, these numbers reflect editorial choices and no other conclusion can be drawn.

AirlineNumber of appearances
American Airlines6
United Airlines6
Air France5
British Airways5
China Airlines4
Northwest Airlines4
US Air4
FedEx3
Garuda Indonesia3
Korean Airlines3
TWA3
Aeroflot2
Alaska2
Comair2
Continental Airlines2
Crossair2
Ethiopian Airlines2
KLM2
Malaysia Airlines2
Pacific Southwest2
Pan Am2
Qantas2
SAS2
TAM2
TransAsia Airways2
UPS2
Adam Air1
Aeromexico1
Aeroperu1
Air Asia1
Air Canada1
Air China1
Air Florida1
Air Illinois1
Air Inter1
Air Moorea1
Air Ontario1
Air Transat1
Aires1
Alitalia1
Aloha Airlines1
American Eagle1
American International Airways1
Ansett New Zealand1
Arrow Air1
Asiana Airlines1
Atlantic Airways1
Atlantic Southeast1
Atlantic Southwest Airlines1
Bashkirian Airlines1
Bristow1
British Airtours1
British Midland1
Cathay1
Chalk’s Ocean Airways1
Colgan Air1
Continental Express1
Copa Airlines1
Delta Airlines1
DHL1
Eastwind Airlines1
EgyptAir1
El Al1
Emery Worldwide1
Execuflight1
Fine Air1
First Air1
Flagship Airlines1
Flash Airlines1
Flydubai1
Germanwings1
Helios Airways1
Hughes Airwest1
Iran Air1
Itavia1
Japan Airlines1
Kazakhstan Airlines1
Kenya Airways1
LAM Mozambqiue1
Lamia1
LAPA1
Lauda Air1
Lion Air1
Loganair1
Manx1
Martinair1
Metrojet1
National Airlines1
Nigeria Airways1
Northwest Airlink1
Pakistan International Airlines1
Partnair1
Philippine Airlines1
Propair1
Proteus Airlines1
Reeve Aleutian Airways1
Santa Barbara Airlines1
Saudi Arabian1
SilkAir1
Singapore Airlines1
Skywest1
Sol1
Southwest Airlines1
Spanair1
SwissAir1
TACA1
TANS Peru1
Tarom1
Thai1
Trans colorado airlines1
Trans-Air Service1
Trigana Air1
Tuninter1
Turkish Airlines1
Uni Air1
United Express1
US Airways1
US Bangla Airlines1
Valujet1
Varig1
West Air1
West Carribean1
XL Airways1
Yak Service1

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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