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JACDEC stands for Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre, providing global safety analysis about commercial aviation since 1989. The German founders Jan-Arwed Richter and Christian Wolf have written a number of books about aviation accidents. Since 2002 JACDEC developed under that term social research a global as a service, detailed information about an airline are with costs.[1] The JACDEC Safety Index was developed from their own database. The Centre also monitors current safety occurrences and provides updates on airline safety issues in social networks. The ratings take into account the number and deadliness of the hull losses (destroyed airplanes) they have suffered in the past 30 years, how they have fared more recently, and how many flights they have flown without incident. The results do not take into account the cause of the hull losses, or whether the airline is at fault, so they are not a perfect measure of how safely an airline operates.[2]

JACDEC safety index[edit]

in the year 2002 JACDEC develoved The JACDEC Safety Index is a probabilistic measurement of past airline safety.

The index is based on JACDEC now 12 years of accident analysis and a variety of official sources and documents of recognized institutions. During this time, the index every year got more complex and meaningful.

It now has a level which allows us to compare the safety status of all the busiest airlines in the world combined.

The JACDEC Safety Index calculation is currently based on eight basic components.

  1. Annual Revenue Passengers Kilometers (RPKs): By using this number, we determine the flight performance of an airline. At nearly all major airlines, it is a default value. For calculating the index we use the cumulative RPK‘s – depending on the age of the airline – 30 years back.
  2. Fatalities: For calculating the index we include all deaths among all occupants on board commercial passenger flights of an airline. (Time from boarding to de-boarding) For calculating the Index we use the number of victims – depending on the age of the airline – up to 30 years back.
  3. Total losses: The so-called "Hull Losses" are another core component of the calculation. Thus all accidents, by definition, refer to operations where the aircraft is destroyed, or was no longer repairable.
  4. Serious Incidents: This "ingredient" in our index calculation is still relatively new. Only since the "critical mass" of air accident authorities is achieved, generating the appropriate report density to be used to calculate in the JACDEC Index. The term "serious incident" is defined by international standards and referred to incidents where an accident was only narrowly avoided. A serious incident is weighted less than a Hull Loss.
  5. Accident - Free Years" The number of years without a hull loss accident, backward from the current reference year to the most recent total loss (Hull Loss) of an airline. The more accident-free years an airline got, the better the relationship between flight performance and accident history resulting in an improvement of the JACDEC Safety Index.
  6. IOSA Membership" Is an airline through the IOSA audit successful and receive an unqualified certificate, this is also included in the index. IOSA stands for "IATA Operational Safety Audit" to determine a recognized program of the airline association IATA, to operational structures and quality management within an airline. Meanwhile, over 300 airlines have received an IOSA certificate. Although an IOSA membership has little impact on our index, airlines that doesn´t have it were downgraded by a small quantum. IOSA website
  7. The Time Factor: When calculating the total accident history of an airline, we applied a time weighting factor (the Exponential Moving Average – EMA). This additional formula ensures that older accidents contributes to the safety index by a lesser degree than newer ones. The farther an accident is back in time, the weaker its impact.
  8. Country Transparency: As a new component we introduced in 2013 was the transparency of the controlling authority of Aircraft Accident Investigation. Depending on which country we established different levels of transparency. Countries in the Level 1 best in terms of publication all relevant flight safety events in that particular country, Level 2 for single or only a few publications, and Level 3 for no publications of the Aircraft Accident Investigation, or the non-existence of the relevant authority.

The JACDEC airline safety ranking[edit]

Since 2002 JACDEC publishes an annual ranking of the "Safest 60 Airlines". The index rating, JACDEC distinguishes whether an event is a total loss or a serious incident: Both will be recorded in our JACDEC Database, but in the final weighting a total loss counts considerably more. The term "total loss" means that any repair costs of accident damage exceeds the residual value of the aircraft or the aircraft was totally destroyed. JACDEC include only flights where paying passengers were on board. Therefore, all freight – ferry, training of maintenance flights are disregarded.

Also, JACDEC is taking the operational environment as one important factor for an airline´s safety performance.

JACDEC concludes "There is a direct correlation between the safety of an airline and the competence and transparency of the controlling authorities." Therefore, the results of the so-called USOAP, this abbreviation stands for Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme. In particular it is investigated how a country is able to meet and maintain defined standards of aviation safety. USOAP Website The results of this investigation will be published on a website and can be viewed by everyone.

Furthermore, JACDEC takes into account what level of transparency a governing authority has.

Safest Airlines 2018 (Based on 2017 values)[3]
Rank Airline Country Index
1 Emirates  United Arab Emirates 93.61
2 Norwegian  Norway 93.26
3 Virgin Atlantic  United Kingdom 92.87
4 KLM  Netherlands 92.77
5 EasyJet  United Kingdom 92.75
6 Finnair  Finland 92.67
7 Etihad Airways  United Arab Emirates 92.56
8 Spirit Airlines  United States of America 92.18
9 Jetstar Airways  Australia 92.12
10 Air Arabia  United Arab Emirates 92.09
Least Safe Airlines 2018 (Based on 2017 values)[citation needed]
Rank Airline Country Index
1 Blue Wing Airlines  Suriname XX.XX
2 Iraqi Airways  Iraq XX.XX
3 Iran Aseman Airlines  Iran XX.XX
4 Med-View Airline  Nigeria XX.XX
5 Mustique Airways  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines XX.XX


JACDEC's methodology has been criticized within in the airline evaluation industry as unreliable and not transparent.[4]

The inaccuracy of the company's indexing has been debated after a list was issued for the German Newspaper Bild's web site after the crash of Air France Flight 447, displaying the safety index of world's 60 biggest airlines.[5] The list which was possibly wrongly computed unfairly included Turkish Airlines as the list's 60th, and least safe airline, which is indeed a Star Alliance member. Starting year for the list was precisely chosen as 1973, some 36 years back, including a Turkish Airlines jet that had crashed in 1974 and a time when most of the airlines that are listed did not even exist, such as JetBlue Airways which was founded in 1999 and other regional companies with less flight frequency.[citation needed]

The listing of Turkish Airlines as the least safe airline is supported by Turkish Airlines DC-10 crash, which was due to manufacturing faults of the DC-10's cargo door locking system, that killed all 346 aboard. In the aftermath of this crash, action was taken worldwide to fix the cargo-doors fault of DC-10s that were in service.[citation needed]


  1. ^ - Order page
  2. ^ Davies, Alex (January 23, 2013). "The World's 10 Most Dangerous Airlines". Yahoo Finance. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  4. ^ Lee, Danny (22 January 2018). "Cathay Pacific falls 11 places in safety rankings, hits out at 'unreliable' evaluator". South China Morning Post.
  5. ^ http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/2009/06/04/flugzeug-absturz/so-sicher-sind-die-60-groessten-fluggesellschaften.html List of 60 biggest airlines on Bild Website in German

External links[edit]

  • JACDEC - current JACDEC Safety Indices