Are budget airlines safe to fly with?
Lufthansa’s budget airline Germanwings has been around since 2002. Up until March 24, 2015 it had a perfectly clean record and was ranked 3rd in the list of top low-cost airlines in Europe. The tragic event of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 may have left many of you wondering though just how safe budget airlines really are. Let's examine the facts.
Juergen Lehle - Wikimedia
All airlines in Europe, whether budget or otherwise, are required to meet strict European Aviation Safety Agency rules. This oversees all elements of flying including pilot training, working hours and aircraft safety. North America also has a well regulated airlines industry and similar to Ryanair and EasyJet, JetBlue, Spirit and Southwest budget airlines have not had any fatalities or major incidents in their histories.
No frills airlines aim to cut corners on areas such as customer service, the amount of people they can fit on the plane, and how to make a flight as efficient as possible. In no way would any airline wilfully attempt to cut corners on the safety of their aircraft. If this were to happen, whatever reputation they may have had would be instantly destroyed and the airline would cease to exist.
Airlines in other parts of the world have different standards and regulations. There have been incidents reported that have ultimately led to the shutting down of the airline, such as AdamAir based in Indonesia. Another Indonesian budget airline, is LionAir, which is actually banned by the EU due to all the accidents that have been reported involving the airline.
Looking purely at statistics though, it appears that budget airlines from North America and Europe are just as safe as any traditional airline. Unfortunately however, accidents do occur regardless of whether it is a no-frills flight or not. Any airline that has a high accident record won’t last long in the industry as safety standards need to be constantly met to ensure sustainability.