Afraid of flying? With these carriers, you needn’t be. We've curated the safest airline companies for the year
8 January 2020| Last updated on 14 January 2020
All Credits: PA
Airline review website AirlineRatings has released its list of the world’s safest operators – an annual ranking based on everything from accident records to government audits and fleet age.
2019 was a bad year for Western carriers, as stalwarts like American Airlines and British Airways dropped out of the top 20, though Aer Lingus and Virgin Atlantic held on for 19th and 12th respectively.
Instead, southern and eastern operators soared above the rest. Here are the top 10 safest airline companies in the world for 2020…
One of a handful of operators to boast a perfect record (zero fatalities in the modern era), runaway winner Qantas was singled out for praise by AirlineRatings editor Geoffrey Thomas. The world’s oldest continuously operating airline, the Australian carrier was “the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the last 60 years.”
2. Air New Zealand
It’s been a career year for Air New Zealand, as it was crowned world’s best airline by AirlineRatings at their main awards in November, propelled by its in-flight facilities, green credentials, and, of course, exemplary safety record. It was the sixth time Air New Zealand claimed the title, and only its Aussie neighbours stopped it adding to its haul here.
3. EVA Air
The first of six Asian airlines to dominate the top 10, Evergreen Airways (EVA) is a national carrier for Taiwan, and rocks a perfect score of zero fatalities since its inception in 1991. Focused mostly on routes around South-East Asia, it might be the safest airline you’ve never heard of.
4. Etihad Airways
Financially, Etihad has not had the strongest few years, but away from the boardroom the airline keeps on sweeping up accolades. Etihad started 2019 by completing the world’s first commercial flight powered entirely by biofuel, and ended it snapping up fourth safest on this list.
5. Qatar Airways
Widely known for its high-end amenities, Qatar Airways made waves last year with its delightfully decadent Qsuites, which AirlineRatings promptly named the world’s best business class. Thankfully safety doesn’t distinguish, and Qatar Airways rounds out our top five.
6. Singapore Airlines
Voted the best airline in the world by TripAdvisor users last year, Singapore Airlines might be this list’s least surprising entry. A shoo-in on quality lists of all varieties, the airline has its hub at Changi Airport, which recently expanded to include a hedge maze, an 11-screen cinema, and the world’s largest indoor waterfall.
Another operator synonymous with luxury, Emirates has been ever-present on the AirlineRatings safety list since it was first compiled in 2014. A state-owned carrier based in Dubai, Emirates’ safety rating is just as immaculate as its notoriously impeccable customer service.
8. Alaska Airlines
Perhaps our first real wild card, Alaska Airlines punches well above its weight for an operator founded in one of America’s least populous states. For longtime plane-spotters its inclusion is less surprising – now based in Seattle, the 2016 acquisition of Virgin America propelled Alaska Airlines into the top five largest carriers in the US.
9. Cathay Pacific
It’s been a tumultuous year for Hong Kong, but flag carrier Cathay Pacific continues serenely pushing the airborne envelope. Another ever-present that has made the list every year, ninth is, if anything, a below-average return.
10. Virgin Australia
Narrowly edging out Hawaiian Airlines and sister carrier Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia scrapes into the top 10 and proves once more that flying is just better down under.