Singapore Airlines has a relatively good, but not perfect safety record.
During its operational history, it has suffered one fatal crash. This accident happened in 2000 and was Singapore Airlines’ only crash resulting in a total loss of aircraft. Since this accident, Singapore Airlines has not had any accidents which have resulted in injuries to passengers or crew (excluding air turbulence incidents).
Singapore Airlines is fully safety compliant with local and international standards and – putting whether or not lists of the world’s safest airlines carry any value aside – it often ranks in top spots in such lists. In the article below, I explain why Singapore Airlines is considered to be a safe airline to fly with.
Hopefully, the information contained in this article will reassure you and dispel any concerns you may have.
Singapore Airlines Operates a Modern Fleet
Singapore Airlines has a large fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The average Singapore Airlines aircraft ages by aircraft type are shown in the table below:
|Aircraft||Number of Aircraft||Average Age|
According to Airfleets.net the average weighted age of the Singapore Airlines fleet is 6.2 years. All of Singapore Airlines’ 747s are freighters, and so if we take those out of the equation, the average fleet age comes down to 5.5 years.
Excluding the 747s, Singapore Airlines’ oldest aircraft group is its 777s. These were delivered between 2006 and 2015. Singapore Airlines’ youngest aircraft groups are its A350s and 787s, these were delivered between 2016 and 2022, and 2018 and 2019 respectively.
With an average fleet age of just around six years, Singapore Airlines is operating a young fleet that compares very well to other major full-service carriers. For example, Lufthansa’s average fleet age is 10.5 years, United Airlines’ is 16.5 years, British Airways’ is 12.9 years and Air France’s is 14.3 years. Emirates and Qatar Airways have average fleet ages of 8.4 and 7.5 years respectively.
Singapore Airlines Is IOSA-Certified and a Member of Star Alliance
Singapore Airlines has the highest possible, seven-star safety rating on AirlineRatings.com. While the ranking methodology is simple, it provides a good overview of the very basics of whether or not an airline is safe to fly it. The rating is based on the following:
- Singapore Airlines is IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) certified. This audit is optional and assesses whether an airline has the necessary systems and processes in place to operate safely. Airlines are evaluated every two years.
- Singapore Airlines is not blacklisted in the European Union or the United States.
- Singapore Airlines is safety regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and CAAS’ ICAO Safety Audit results are extremely good with effective implementation of 100%, or almost 100%, for the eight areas audited, well above the global average for all areas. The ICAO audit assesses a nation’s approach to airline safety oversight and regulation.
- The only fatal air crash involving a Singapore Airlines aircraft occurred more than 20 years ago in 2000.
In a separate ranking by the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center (JACDEC), Singapore Airlines was ranked number 21 out of 100 in a 2021 list of the world’s airlines with a risk index of 90.49%, and one fatal air crash noted since 1989. This risk index was calculated by looking at around 30 different airline safety parameters.
Besides the above, it is also worth noting that Singapore Airlines is a member of Star Alliance. While this in itself is not directly related to safety, it is a good indicator of the airline having solid operations which translates into good safety.
Singapore Airlines Incidents and Accidents
Similar to many large airlines that have had a long operational history and that operate a large fleet, Singapore Airlines’ safety record is not spotlessly clean, but it is pretty good with only a small number of reported incidents, although one was very serious resulting in multiple fatalities.
Singapore Airlines’ single fatal air crash occurred in October 2000 at Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan. A Singapore Airlines 747 attempted to take off during a typhoon on the wrong runway while departing for Los Angeles.
The 747 collided with construction equipment that was parked on the closed runway. The aircraft disintegrated into three pieces and burst into flames. Eighty-three of the 179 people onboard were killed in the accident, and a further 71 people were injured. This was the first and only fatal accident involving a Singapore Airlines aircraft to date.
There are two other incidents (excluding those attributed to natural events such as volcanic ash, lightning strikes, etc., and hijacks) involving Singapore Airlines aircraft that are worth noting, as follows:
- In March 2003 a Singapore Airlines 747 flying from Auckland to Singapore was involved in a tail strike while taking off at Auckland International Airport, causing severe damage to the aircraft’s tail and damaging the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit). The flight returned to Auckland with no fatalities or injuries on board.
- In June 2016 a Singapore Airlines 777 with 222 passengers and 19 crew on board, suffered an engine oil leak during a flight from Singapore to Milan. The oil leak alarm was sounded two hours into the flight. The aircraft returned to Singapore Changi Airport and performed an emergency landing during which the right engine caught fire, engulfing the right wing in flames. The fire was extinguished within five minutes of the aircraft landing. No injuries were reported.
Summary: Is Flying with Singapore Airlines Safe?
Singapore Airlines has suffered one fatal crash during the company’s history, and a small number of non-fatal incidents. Singapore Airlines is fully IATA IOSA certified and safety oversight of the airline is performed by the CAAS which scores exceptionally well in ICAO’s Country Audits.
Based on these observations and this research, my conclusion is that Singapore Airlines is a safe airline to fly with.
If you are wondering what flying with Singapore Airlines is like, check our reviews: