I live in Sydney and I have bought a flight from Sydney to Christchurch - New Zealand next month. The company is China Airlines (CI) and I got concerned when I saw some lists considering it the least safe airline company, but I also have heard they improved in this aspect.

The aircraft is the A330-300. I checked the possibility of changing to Qantas and it would cost me 1500 dollars (almost one month of work)

Do you think I should change or CI is considered safe today?

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    I think that will mostly depend on how you define safe. Also note that contrary to what the name might make you believe, China Airlines is actually a Taiwanese airline. Just in case your argument for it not being safe is 'it's from China'.
    – drat
    Jan 9, 2015 at 7:15
  • Is it as safe as the average? Is it much less safe than Qantas? Yes, I know it is from Taiwan, and it made me feel more anxious, due to its safety record.
    – Mateus
    Jan 9, 2015 at 7:25
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    Note that it's easy to get anxious about flying but it's generally extremely safe. Even if China Airlines was slightly less safe than Qantas, flying with them would still be considerably less risky than many things you do every day, including driving.
    – Relaxed
    Jan 9, 2015 at 8:33
  • @Relaxed Thanks for replying. I just did not want any unnecessary risk. If CI is as safe as the average I will be OK with that.
    – Mateus
    Jan 9, 2015 at 8:49
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    Just to clear some confusion. Due to some historical reasons, there are some confusing naming issues when referring to airline companies in China. China Airline (CI) is a Taiwan based airline company that even Taiwanese wouldn't fly if they had a better choice (e.g. EVA) considering its poor safety records. Air China (CA) and China Eastern (MU), China Southern (CZ), Hainan Airline (HU) are four major airlines based in mainland China. They had some issues historically (circa 1980s). But things are much better nowadays with almost no fatal accidents in recent 20 years.
    – Zine.Chant
    Jul 25, 2018 at 23:30

3 Answers 3


Realistically China Airways is as safe as any other major airline. That's not to say that there couldn't be a safety issue on them tomorrow, just like there could be on any airline - but realistically the odds are incredibly low.

Historically (going back 15-20 years or more) they did have a relatively poor reputation for safety, however in recent years they have made significant improvements, and they have not had a fatal accident for over 12 years, and even that one was caused by a problem that had occurred 22 years earlier (metal fatigue after a repair job completed in 1980).

The Australian government is very strict about airline safety, so any airline that is flying into or out of Australia will be up to at least a minimum level of safety and security.

(And yes, I have flown China Airlines, and would fly them again)

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    Qantas has had more accidents and incidents in the past 10 years than China Airlines has...
    – Doc
    Jan 9, 2015 at 8:03
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    @Mateus: no, there is no need to change. Flying in 2015 is very, very safe, on any major carrier. As the captain says, sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight. Jan 9, 2015 at 8:06
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    @Mateus: no, but that fact is not relevant. If it makes you feel better, I have flown on Aeroflot, Air Asia, and a six-seat charter plane where the pilot read the newspaper for most of the flight, with no autopilot. I am still alive, and next month, so will you be. Jan 9, 2015 at 8:31
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    @Ruslan Ok, I was just waiting if anyone has anything else to add, maybe another personal exeperience to share.
    – Mateus
    Jan 9, 2015 at 12:39
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    @Mateus: as a rule of thumb, any airlines' scheduled flights in and out of countries with solid aviation safety regimes, are way safer than absurdly dangerous modes of transport like driving that most people use every day without thinking about it. You'd likely reduce your risk of death far more by catching a train to the airport instead of driving, or by making fewer runs to the store each month, than by picking the safest airline. It's just that flying is unfamiliar and out of your control, so it "feels" risky. Jan 9, 2015 at 18:48

I found a site about plane crashes. It seems a little morbid, but has a lot of information about plane crashes, including accidents history, statistics and events by airline.

According to them, the last crash by China Airlines was in 2002. They had a bad time in the 80's and 90's, when they crashed 8 times. It seems to me they have learned form their faults, as they now have 13 years without accidents.

Sometimes aviation is like stock market, the past is not a good predictor for the future, a plane may crash at anytime, even in Qantas, but odds are you'll be safe flying China Airlines.


China Airlines is in the IATA IOSA registry. See How are safety standards enforced in an airline which is not IOSA certified? for more on IATA IOSA.

Further, China Airlines is allowed to fly commercial flights from the United States (for eg CI-7 LAX-TPE) and the EU (for eg CI-66 AMS-BKK) both. The safety regulations for those are extremely strict.

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