The ten safest African airlines

Airlines based in Africa have a bad reputation. When the European Union published a blacklist of airlines banned from flying in the EU, it included 111 carriers from 13 African countries. Carriers got on the list for having out-of-date planes (often Soviet-era “flying coffins”), poor government oversight in their own country, and not fixing problems pointed out by EU inspectors. You can read more about the criteria and the list here.

Airlines from other countries got on the list too, including a large number from Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines, but the preponderance of Africa-based carriers was noticeable.

In response, Flight Africa blog has published a list of the ten safest African airlines based on “attainment of IOSA Certification, number of accidents per flight and fatalities per passenger kilometres.” That last phrase actually made me wince. Here’s the list:

1. South African Airways
2. Ethiopian Airlines
3. Air Botswana
4. Air Mauritius
5. Air Seychelles
6. Kenya Airways
7. TunisAir
8. Royal Air Maroc
9. Nigerian Eagle Airlines
10. Air Zimbabwe

This is an encouraging list because it includes carriers from every region of Africa and some of the most popular tourist destinations. One common mantra of adventure travelers is that they’re helping the local economy with the money they spend. This list proves they can start helping before their adventure even starts.