Which Airline Has Had The Most Crashes in the U.S?

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

LONDON – Which airline has had the most crashes in the United States of America? Let’s take a dive into this, based on the history of such carriers since they started operations.

Based on data from Executive Flyers, they have outlined airlines that have the most accidents and crashes within the country.

Bare in mind that this is based on accidents that have occurred in the USA only and are not representative of the other hull losses and fatalities that have occurred overseas.

American Airlines…

Photo Credit: Kyle Hayes/AviationSource

American Airlines is at the top of the list, with 11 accidents, which caused 858 fatalities. Two of these accidents came directly from the 9/11 attacks in September 2001.

Because of the 11 accidents, this makes them joint top with Air France for the airline with the most crashes in the world with 11 accidents apiece.

United Airlines…

Photo Credit: Karam Sodhi/AviationSource

United Airlines comes in next with seven accidents that have killed a total of 288 people. Like with American Airlines, two of their aircraft were involved in the 9/11 attacks in September 2001.

This puts the airline at #6 for airlines in the world that have had the most air crashes.

Delta Air Lines…

Photo Credit: Kyle Hayes/AviationSource

Delta Air Lines has had two accidents, but with a higher rate of fatalities per accident, which has been recorded at 134.

But with two accidents, this is far less than the likes of United Airlines and American Airlines.

Southwest Airlines…

Photo Credit: Karam Sodhi/AviationSource

Southwest Airlines currently has the second-best safety record, recording three accidents but only one fatality recorded from such instances.

The carrier comes second to Horizon Air, who have had one fatality from just one accident, which came from the Dash 8 that was stolen in Seattle.

Alaska Airlines…

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

Alaska Airlines comes in third with one accident recorded but 88 fatalities in that particular crash.

The crash in question comes from Alaska Airlines Flight 261 back in January 2000 when the jackscrew onboard it’s McDonnell Douglas MD-83 failed due to improper maintenance, causing loss of control onboard.

Should I Be Worried About These Statistics?

Not at all. Air travel has come a very long way in terms of the safety aspect, with Arnold Barnett, the Professor of Statistics at MIT, giving this interesting statistic:

“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”.

This, of course, is how far aviation safety has come about, with there being a handful of commercial air crashes every year, and it is a far better statistic compared to 20-30 years ago.


It is key to note that air travel has come a long way, but American Airlines have had a lot of US-originated accidents, with there being over 60 hull losses if you add in crashes outside of the U.S.

Southwest & Horizon steal this particular show, having the least amount of accidents and least amount of fatalities.

Either way, it’s an interesting metric to look at and will no doubt cause some interesting conversation later down the line when these statistics become outdated.

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