- AirlineRatings.com has released its annual list of the safest airlines in the world.
- The publication’s editorial team selected the 21 safest carriers from a pool of 405 airlines.
- Australia’s Qantas was named the safest airline in the world.
- Other major carriers that made the list include American Airlines, United Airlines, Emirates, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines.
Despite a topsy-turvy 2018, commercial air travel remains one of the safest forms of transportation.
On Thursday, AirlineRatings.com unveiled its latest list of the safest airlines in the world. The Australian website, which reviews aviation safety and in-flight products, selected the winning carriers from a pool of 405 airlines.
“These airlines are standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation, and the design and launching of new aircraft,” Geoffrey Thomas, AirlineRatings.com’s editor-in-chief, said in a statement.
The airline that AirlineRatings.com chose as the safest for 2019 is the Australian carrier Qantas.
Read more: The 10 best airlines in the world for 2019
“It is extraordinary that Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years and has not had a fatality in the jet era,” Thomas said.
“But Qantas is not alone,” Thomas continued. “Long established airlines such as Hawaiian and Finnair have perfect records in the jet era.”
Qantas was not immediately available for comment.
Apart from Qantas, AirlineRatings.com declined to rank the other 20 airlines on its list.
Airlines from Europe and Asia dominate the list with eight and six entrants, respectively. No airlines from South America or Africa made the list.
According to the publication’s editorial team, the airlines are selected based a host of factors, including results from audits conducted by aviation-governing bodies, government audits, the airline’s crash and accident records, fleet age, and profitability.
Here’s a look at the safest airlines in the world counting down from 21 in reverse-alphabetical order, except for Qantas, which holds the No. 1 spot:
21. Virgin Australia, the Australian offshoot of Richard Branson’s aviation empire, was founded in 1999 as a low-cost carrier called Virgin Blue. In 2011, the company switched to a traditional, full-service business model and was rebranded as Virgin Australia. The airline has no fatal crashes in its history.
- Virgin Australia
20. Virgin Atlantic is Branson’s original aviation venture. Since 2012, 49% of the Crawley, England-based carrier has been under the control of the Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines. Virgin Atlantic has not suffered any fatal crashes.
19. The Chicago-based United Airlines took its current shape in 2012 with the merger of United and Continental airlines. United has not suffered a fatal crash unrelated to terrorism in more than 20 years.
- David McNew/Getty Images
17. Singapore Airlines is universally lauded for its high-quality service and efficient operations. Both AirlineRatings.com and Skytrax named Singapore the best airline in the world. The Changi Airport-based carrier has been accident-free since 2000.
18. Swiss International Air Lines was formed in 2002 from the remnants of the bankrupt Swissair. In 2007, the airline became part of Germany’s Lufthansa Group. Swiss has suffered no fatalities in its current incarnation.
16. Formed in 1946, Scandinavian Airlines, or SAS, serves as the national airline of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The airline’s most recent fatal crash occurred in 2001.
15. Founded in 1993, Qatar Airways has developed into one of the airline industry’s most influential carriers. The airline was ranked fourth-best in the world by AirlineRatings.com. Qatar Airways has not experienced any fatal accidents.
- REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
14. Germany’s Lufthansa is a European aviation juggernaut. In operation since 1955, the Frankfurt-based carrier was recently named Europe’s best long-haul airline by the website. It has not suffered any fatal accidents since 1993.
13. Founded in 1919, KLM is one of the oldest, most trusted names in the airline industry. Though KLM and Air France merged in 2004, the two airlines operate under separate brands. KLM has not had a fatality in four decades.
12. Founded in 1929, the Honolulu-based Hawaiian Airlines has been consistently regarded as one of the best in the US. Hawaiian, which now boasts a fleet of more than 50 wide- and narrow-body airliners, has never experienced a fatal accident.
- Hawaiian Airlines
11. Finnair, Finland’s national airline, doesn’t get as much attention in the media as some of its Scandinavian counterparts. But don’t discount the Helsinki-based carrier. It has one of the best safety records in the business and hasn’t suffered any major accidents since the 1960s.
10. In the US, Taiwan’s Eva Air is best known for its Hello Kitty-themed planes. Eva, however, has long been considered one of the best carriers in Asia. The airline has not suffered any major accidents since its founding in 1988.
9. Over the past 20 years, Emirates has emerged as a major power in the world of commercial air travel. The airline, known for its elite service, also has an impressive safety record. The airline has suffered only one hull-loss incident in its 31-year history.
8. AirlineRatings.com recently named Cathay Pacific the ninth-best airline in the world. And as outstanding as its service may be, the airline is just as competent in terms of safety. Cathay Pacific has not suffered a fatal accident, not including terrorist attacks, since the 1960s.
- Cathay Pacific Airways
7. British Airways formed in 1974 after the merger of British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways. The airline has not experienced a fatal accident in three decades.
6. Austrian Airlines was founded in 1957 and is now a subsidiary of Lufthansa Group. The Vienna-based airline has not had a fatal crash in the modern-jet era.
- Austrian Airlines
5. American Airlines has been in business since 1926. However, the current incarnation of the carrier formed in 2013 after a merger with US Airways. The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline has not had a fatal incident unrelated to terrorism in nearly two decades.
- Mike Blake / Reuters
4. Founded in 1954, All Nippon Airways is well-regarded for its consistent and high-quality service. According to AirlineRatings.com, ANA is the seventh-best airline in the world. ANA has not had a fatal crash in more than 45 years.
3. It may be called Alaska Airlines, but it’s actually based in Seattle. The carrier is a mainstay on the West Coast of the US. Alaska recently made a major splash in 2016 with the $2.6 billion acquisition of Virgin America. The Virgin America brand will cease to exist by next year. The airline has not suffered a fatal crash since 2000.
- Alaska Airlines
2. Air New Zealand has been resurgent in recent years. The airline’s success includes a five-year run atop the AirlineRatings.com “Best Airline in the World” list. Air New Zealand has not suffered any significant incidents in the past couple of decades.
1. This winner is Qantas. The Australian carrier is the Volvo of the airline industry — a company whose reputation and mystique is built upon its clean safety record. This is for good reason. The 96-year-old airline has not had a fatal crash since 1951.
- REUTERS/Daniel Munoz