Safety Argument; Delta vs Southwest Airline

Air, as a mode of transportation, is one of the safest modes of transport in comparison to other modes of transportation known to man. According to data from a research undertaken by Ian Savage, professor of economics at the prestigious Northwestern University, flying is indeed the safest mode of transportation with only 0.07 deaths per one billion passenger miles (What is the Safest Way to Travel? One Chart Which Reveals That Flying is Less Dangerous Than You May Think | City A.M”). Figures from the study would encompass the deaths of US nationals between years 2000 and 2009 while expressing the various modes of transportation in terms of the deaths recorded per billion passenger miles that they were able to cover (Peoples and Talley 3). However, aviation accidents are the most fatal of them all with chances of survival being very slim. It is because of this reality that aviation safety is often put into perspective through the categorization and investigation of flight failures to prevent them from ever occurring in future. Delta and Southwest airlines have often been placed side by side in terms of comparison of the quality services that they provide, their affordability and their safety record. The purpose of this argumentative essay is to prove that South West Airline is indeed safer than Delta Air Lines Inc and provide evidence to support this point of view.

To start with, the most effective parameter to use during one’s quest to prove which is the safer airline is to compare the number of aviation disasters that have plagued the airlines. It was during the 1920s when the Unite States Congress passed the first law to regulate civil aviation in the form of the 1926 Air Commerce Act (Daly and Bednarek 172). The Act required both the aircraft and the pilot to first go through an examination phase before being issued with the necessary licensed. Its purpose was to ensure that all the safety rules are followed to the letter by commercial airlines, in particular, to avoid instances of aviation disasters. Delta Air Lines Inc was established in 1924. According to the Aviation Safety Database (ASN), there have been 65 accidents and incidences that Delta Air Lines Inc has been involved in (“Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Operator Index > United States of America > Delta Air Lines”). On the other hand, Southwest Airlines has been in business since 1967, and in those 50 years of its existence, the number of recorded accidents and incidences only number an impressive 14 (“Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Operator Index > the United States of America > Southwest Airlines”). Aviation in some instances be unavoidable, say in the event of foreign debris objects, bird strike or military downing. Nevertheless, a low incidence and accident rate as is the case with Southwest Airlines is an indication of a strict adherence to safety rules that have been put in place to guarantee the safety of its clients.

The mark of a commercial airline service that has the safety of its clients in mind is often when it makes improvements in such a trajectory. Safety improvements initiatives in aviation include safety partnerships that are struck between operators, manufacturers, regulators, research organizations, professional unions and international aviation institutions in the quest of further improving safety (Stolzer and Goglia 55). Commercial airlines that show a willingness to join these initiatives indicate that they are willing to be put under the lens of scrutiny by regulators and other organizations that have safety as their primary concern. It is initiatives of this type that often lead to the early detection of situations and structural problems that have the ability to cause aviation disasters.  In the spirit of ensuring that the safety of their clients comes first, Southwest Airlines are the only one that has voluntarily joined the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) and the European Strategic Safety Initiative (ESSI). CAST is an initiative in the United States that was established in 1998 with the sole aim of reducing the fatality rate in commercial aviation by 80%  by 2007 (Commercial Aviation Safety Team (cast)). Similarly, ESSI is a safety partnership in the field of aviation with the objective of further enhancing the safety of individuals in Europe and worldwide using safety analysis, coordinating with other safety initiatives and implementing action plans that are cost effective (International 88). It is such initiatives that put Southwest Airlines ahead of Delta Air Lines Inc.

Over the past decade, Delta Airline has also come to the realization that the safety of their clients should take precedence over making a profit from the business. The high number of aviation disasters that their aircraft were involved in served as a wake-up call for the company to take the safety of its client seriously. One of the best ways of passing a message to the general public about the new face of Delta Airline was during rebranding. During this project, the company was able to produce a high-quality video in early 2008 that was put up on YouTube and garnered more than 1 million views from the serious safety message that it carried. The video was filmed in a Boeing 757 featuring 14 flight attendants and pilots to represent the assortment of languages and countries that the brand represents. Throughout the video, the focus is on safety and Delta Air Line’s commitment to ensuring that the safety of their clients is always certain (“Delta Boeing 757 Safety Video (Oct 2008)”). Additionally, Delta Air Line Inc also grabbed the attention of various news outlets in late 2012 when it put up videos meant to communicate vital safety messages through guest and surprise appearances. Such initiatives are a step in the right direction for an airline that has been wrought in the near past by aviation catastrophes, and it will hopefully, lead to safer flights for its clients.

In conclusion, the safety of commercial airlines clients should always be of paramount importance to major plays in this field. In comparison, Southwest Airlines is the safer airline due to the crucial measures that it has put in place (such as regulation and safety initiatives) to ensure the safety of al that uses it. It is these initiatives that are responsible for the low rate of accident and incident involving their aircraft. Moreover, Delta Air Lines Inc has come to grips with the importance of aviation safety and is on the right path in terms of ensuring that it offers safer flights for its clients; safety is key because safety is life.

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