Whether you’re planning your next flight or are just curious what airline has the most crashes, the answer might surprise you.

The USA and Europe feature highly on lists of airlines that have had the most crashes, as well as most plane crash deaths, too.

However, for a long time air travel has been more popular in these continents, which partly explains this.

In short, American Airlines and Air France with 11 crashes each both top the list of airlines that have had the most crashes.

In the USA, in addition to American Airlines with 11 plane crashes, United Airlines with 7 crashes, and Southwest Airlines with 3 crashes round the top three.

What Airline Has Had the Most Crashes in the US?

American Airlines and United Airlines have been involved in the most plane crashes in the USA.

American Airlines has had 11 crashes, while United Airlines has had 7 accidents.

9/11 accounted for 2 of these crashes for each airline.

Only Southwest (3 crashes), Delta (2 crashes), Alaska Airlines (1 crash), and Horizon Air (1 crash) are the other airlines in the US that have been involved in air accidents.

  • American Airlines: 11 accidents
  • United Airlines: 7 accidents
  • Southwest Airlines: 3 accidents
  • Delta Airlines: 2 accidents
  • Alaska Airlines: 1 accident
  • Horizon Air: 1 accident

What Airline Has Had the Most Crashes in the World?

Air France and American Airlines have both been involved in 11 plane crashes.

China Airlines and Korean Air have had 9 crashes, while Pakistan International Airlines has had 8, and United Airlines has had 7 plane crashes.

  • Air France: 11 accidents
  • American Airlines: 11 airlines
  • China Airlines: 9 accidents
  • Korean Air: 9 accidents
  • Pakistan International Airlines: 8 accidents
  • United Airlines: 7 accidents
  • Egyptair: 6 accidents
  • Ethiopian Airlines: 6 accidents
  • Thai Airways: 6 accidents
  • American Eagle: 5 accidents
  • Continental Airlines: 5 accidents
  • Lufthansa: 5 accidents

What Airline Has Had the Most Crashes in Europe?

In Europe, Air France (11 crashes), Turkish Airlines (6 crashes), Lufthansa (5 crashes), and Iberia (3 crashes) are the airlines that have been involved in the most plane crashes.

  • Air France: 11 accidents
  • Turkish Airlines: 6 accidents
  • Lufthansa: 5 accidents
  • Iberia: 3 accidents

What Airline Has Had the Most Plane Crash Deaths?

There isn’t necessarily a correlation between airline accidents and fatalities.

If we take Southwest Airlines, for example, which despite having been involved in 3 plane crashes, has only experienced one death.

However, generally, the most plane crashes an airline has been involved in, the higher the number of deaths.

Worldwide, American Airlines (858 deaths), China Airlines (760 deaths), Korean Air (596 deaths), Air India (542 deaths), and Malaysia Airlines (537 deaths) are the airlines that have has the most fatalities.

Worldwide

  • American Airlines: 858 fatalities
  • China Airlines: 760 fatalities
  • Korean Air: 586 fatalities
  • Air India: 542 fatalities
  • Malaysia Airlines: 537 fatalities
  • Japan Airlines: 520 fatalities
  • Ethiopian Airlines: 407 fatalities
  • Air France: 347 fatalities
  • Pakistan International Airlines: 311 fatalities

USA

In the USA, six airlines have been involved in plane crashes that have resulted in fatalities.

These airlines include American Airlines (858 deaths), United Airlines (288 deaths), Delta (134 deaths), Alaska Airlines (88 deaths), and Southwest and Horizon Air with 1 death each.

  • American Airlines: 858 fatalities
  • United Airlines: 288 fatalities
  • Delta Airlines: 134 fatalities
  • Alaska Airlines: 88 fatalities
  • Horizon Air: 1 fatality
  • Southwest Airlines: 1 fatality

What Major Airline Has Had the Least Crashes?

Qantas Airways is regularly regarded as the safest major airline in the world because it has never had a crash despite being the flag carrier of Australia.

In the USA, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines, have never been involved in a plane crash.

What is the Most Dangerous Plane?

Looking at just the numbers, the most dangerous plane is the Boeing 737 with 149 accidents and 4,360 fatalities.

Additionally, the Boeing 747 has been involved in 49 accidents and 3,713 fatalities, and the Airbus A300 has been involved in 33 accidents with 1,416 fatalities.

As you can see from the data, there is a very high correlation between the type of aircraft involved in a plane crash and the number of fatalities.

However, as over 10,000 Boeing 737s have been produced compared to 1,569 Boeing 747s and 561 Airbus A300s, this explains why the 737 has been involved in the highest number of plane crashes and deaths.

When looking at the data in this way, you can argue that the Boeing 737 is one of the safer commercial airliners, despite being the plane that has crashed most often in the history of commercial aviation. 

Airplanes With the Most Crashes

  • Boeing 737: 149 accidents
  • Boeing 747: 49 accidents
  • Airbus A300: 33 accidents
  • Airbus A320: 28 accidents
  • Boeing 737 NG / Max: 27 accidents

Airplanes With the Most Plane Crash Deaths

  • Boeing 737: 4,360 fatalities
  • Boeing 747: 3,713 fatalities
  • Airbus A300: 1,416 fatalities
  • Boeing 737 NG / Max: 1,137 fatalities
  • Airbus A320: 1,111 fatalities

How Likely Is It to Be Involved in a Plane Crash?

According to Arnold Barnett, who is an expert in the field of aviation safety and risk and Professor of Statistics at MIT:

“If you take one flight a day, you would on average need to fly every day for 55,000 years before being involved in a fatal crash.”