Newly-published data identified the most dangerous and the safest airlines in current operation.
Independent aircraft safety and product assessment website AirlineRatings.com’s lists are an annual fixture. In compiling them, AirlineRatings as ever took into consideration various aspects of each airline’s performance including:
- Its average fleet age
- Its profitability
- Any serious crash history it had
- Any serious incident history it had
- Government audit results
In all, 425 airlines are safety-rated, each one being awarded a maximum of seven stars. No less than 148 airlines got that coveted seven-star rating. At the other end of the scale, nearly 50 airlines received one, two or three stars: 14 getting that very bottommost single-star rating. These 14 carriers all hail from one of four countries: Nepal, Suriname, Indonesia and Afghanistan.
2017’s Top Airline
So, which airline emerged victorious? As in previous years, Australian carrier Qantas takes AirlineRatings’ 2017 top-spot. It’s joined in the top 20 by Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, (ANA) All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australian.
Note that these airlines are listed alphabetically and, apart from representing the world’s 20 highest-ranked carriers, are not otherwise scored against each other.
"Our top 20 safest airlines are always at the forefront of safety innovation, operational excellence and the launching of more advanced aircraft like the A350, 787 and 777X”, comments Geoffrey Thomas, editor of AirlineRatings.com. He continues: "While these airlines are always leaders in safety there was no question that Qantas still remains the leader in safety enhancements and operational excellence.
"Over its 96-year history Qantas has amassed an amazing record of firsts in safety and operations and is accepted as the world's most experienced airline. Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years."
Established in 1920 and in operation from March 1921 onwards, Qantas is the world’s third oldest airline behind KLM and Avianca. Equipped with 118 aircraft, it currently flies from its three primary and three secondary hubs to more than 80 other destinations. Qantas’ 2017 fleet includes Airbus A330s, Airbus A380s, Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 747-400s. Eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners are presently on order and will start to be delivered later on this year.
Qantas et al aside, AirlineRatings also lists its top ten safest budget carriers. These are, alphabetically: Aer Lingus, Flybe, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia, Jetstar Asia, Thomas Cook, Virgin America, Vueling and Westjet.