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Airlines based in Asia and the Middle East continued to dominate the list of carriers with the best safety track record in 2016, according to DPA.

Airlines based in Asia and the Middle East continued to dominate the list of carriers with the best safety track record in 2016, according to data made available to DPA.

Cathay Pacific, based in Hong Kong, retained its spot as the carrier with the best safety record, according to the study by the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC), carried out for air industry magazine Aero International. The information will be published on January 18.

Fleshing out the other top spots were Air New Zealand (2), Hainan Airlines (3) and Qatar Airways (4). The first European airline appears in spot 5: KLM, from the Netherlands.

“The positive trend in airline safety continued into the last year,” wrote the study’s authors, noting the relative dearth of aviation accidents for 2016. 

It noted that even though the 60 largest airlines had some accidents that destroyed aircraft, not one of them reported a death.

Spots 6-12 were as follows: Eva Air from Taiwan; Emirates from the UAE; Etihad Airways, also from the UAE; Qantas from Australia; Japan Airlines; All Nippon Airways from Japan and Germany’s Lufthansa.

Singapore Airlines came in at spot 32.

The JACDEC researchers make their calculations based on an airline’s record, cross-referenced with the number of accidents and total losses, over the span of 30 years.

The Aviation Safety Network (ASN) in the Netherlands and the JACDEC have both already declared that 2016 was one of the safest years on record for civilian air travel. 

JACDEC recorded 321 deaths overall, while the ASN, using slightly different data, came up with 325.

JACDEC counts aeroplanes weighing more than 5.7 tons and with at least 19 seats. 

The ASN considers flights with as few as 14 seats. Neither study considers military planes.

The worst accident was the November crash of a plane chartered by the Bolivian carrier LaMia, which crashed near Medellin, Colombia, killing 71, including 19 members of the Brazilian football club AF Chapecoense. 

However, this crash did not count towards the zero death toll for the top 60, as LaMia is not in that group.

The relatively low number of deaths made 2016 the second-safest year on record after 2013, according to the German Aviation Association BDL.

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