The major low cost airlines in Europe like Norwegian and Ryanair have had no fatal accidents so far, which is a better record than most of the full cost (major) airlines have had. This might be a contradiction to what we would expect. One reason might be that fatal accidents are seldom happening in the airline industry. Hence it is random which airline which suffers from an accident. I.e. there are so few accidents that you cannot produce statistics. I believe that is true.
However, there might also be another reason contributing to the excellent safety statistics in the low cost airlines so far, and that is attention to Airmanship. The low cost airlines are «young» compared to the «old» major airlines, hence the attention and hence culture might be different. The low cost airlines are well aware of the fact that a major accident with loss of life, might shut them down as their public image will be suffering severely. The major airlines have another standing and their public image will be more easily «forgiven» after a major accident. Hence the focus on safety and it´s impact in a commercial view might be different.
Now many aviation professionals might react as safety is a professional issue and has nothing to do with the commercial aspects of aviation. Well my answer to that is «wake up», everything is directly connected to the commercial side, the cost / benefit part of safety is subject to a a commercial risk analysis as everything else. I have spoken with enough Ryanair pilots to learn that their training and recurrent training is demanding excellence with regard to performance. So why don´t I fly Ryanair with a cheaper fare? I have done it twice and the way they treat their customers like cattle is not «my bag of tea»! The way they threat their employees is also to much for an old union chairman. Comments is highly appreciated. Have a nice weekend!