Before the crash, Alaska Airlines ranked fifth among the top ten carriers based on the number of fatal events per million flights. Its position fell to ten immediately after the crash, but the airline still ranked sixth in the number of dollars spent per passenger seat mile due to maintenance and repair costs. Surprisingly, it had the youngest fleet of the top ten airlines at the time.
Another measure of airline safety is the number of fines levied by the FAA. Of all the major operators, Alaska Airlines received the fewest fines for violations related to maintenance. In the total amount paid to FAA in terms of fines, Alaska Airlines ranked ninth and ranked sixth if only considering the average amount. FAA also inspected 34 Alaska Airlines planes for jackscrew assembly problems and found eight of them to be defective. Notably, jackscrew shaving problems often denote excessive wear and tear.