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.

United Airlines Crash in 1961
United Airlines Flight 859 Crash (1961)
  1. American Airlines: 11 accidents
  2. United Airlines: 7 accidents
  3. Southwest Airlines: 3 accidents
  4. Delta Air Lines: 2 accidents
  5. Alaska Airlines: 1 accident
  6. 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.

  1. Air France: 11 accidents
  2. American Airlines: 11 airlines
  3. China Airlines: 9 accidents
  4. Korean Air: 9 accidents
  5. Pakistan International Airlines: 8 accidents
  6. United Airlines: 7 accidents
  7. Egyptair: 6 accidents
  8. Ethiopian Airlines: 6 accidents
  9. Thai Airways: 6 accidents
  10. American Eagle: 5 accidents
  11. Continental Airlines: 5 accidents
  12. Lufthansa: 5 accidents
Air France 447 crash wreckage
Wreckage from the Air France 447 crash

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.

  1. Air France: 11 accidents
  2. Turkish Airlines: 6 accidents
  3. Lufthansa: 5 accidents
  4. 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.

Korean Air HL7534
Korean Air HL7534 after a minor take-off accident

So if you want to increase your odds of surviving a plane crash, you might want to avoid one of the following airlines.


  1. American Airlines: 858 fatalities
  2. China Airlines: 760 fatalities
  3. Korean Air: 586 fatalities
  4. Air India: 542 fatalities
  5. Malaysia Airlines: 537 fatalities
  6. Japan Airlines: 520 fatalities
  7. Ethiopian Airlines: 407 fatalities
  8. Air France: 347 fatalities
  9. Pakistan International Airlines: 311 fatalities
China Airlines Flight 140 wreckage
China Airlines Flight 140 wreckage


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.

  1. American Airlines: 858 fatalities
  2. United Airlines: 288 fatalities
  3. Delta Air Lines: 134 fatalities
  4. Alaska Airlines: 88 fatalities
  5. Horizon Air: 1 fatality
  6. 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.

Qantas Airways Plane in blue skies
Qantas Airways has never had a crash

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

What Plane Has Been Involved in the Most Crashes?

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

  1. Boeing 737: 149 accidents
  2. Boeing 747: 49 accidents
  3. Airbus A300: 33 accidents
  4. Airbus A320: 28 accidents
  5. Boeing 737 NG / Max: 27 accidents
Boeing 737 Delta plane
The Boeing 737 has been involved in the most crashes and fatalities

Airplanes With the Most Plane Crash Deaths

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

Helen Krasner holds a PPL(A), with 15 years experience flying fixed-wing aircraft; a PPL(H), with 13 years experience flying helicopters; and a CPL(H), Helicopter Instructor Rating, with 12 years working as a helicopter instructor.

Helen is an accomplished aviation writer with 12 years of experience, having authored several books and published numerous articles while also serving as the Editor of the BWPA (British Women Pilots Association) newsletter, with her excellent work having been recognized with her nomination of the “Aviation Journalist of the Year” award.

Helen has won the “Dawn to Dusk” International Flying Competition, along with the best all-female competitors, three times with her copilot.