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These 8 Airlines Are Rated The Safest In The World

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The last thing anyone wants to worry about when traveling is whether or not they will make it safely to their destination. However, the truth is that traveling does come with risks. Therefore, when planning a vacation there are plenty of things tourists can do to minimize those risks. One easy thing travelers can do is choose a safe airline. Luckily, there are resources to help determine which airlines are the safest to fly with.

A row of airplanes are lined up on the tarmac as the sun rises

AirlineRatings.com has released its annual ranking of the safest airlines in the world. Since 2013, AirlineRatings.com has monitored and assessed the safety, in-flight product, and COVID compliance of the top 385 airlines. The rankings are compiled by the website’s editorial team.

A man walks across the tarmac towards an airplane dragging a blue suitcase

To determine which airlines are deemed “safest” experts look at metrics including:

  • Number of crashes over the past 5 years
  • Serious incidents over the past 2 years
  • Audits from within the industry
  • The average age of the aircraft fleet
  • Evaluation of pilot training programs
  • COVID protocols

Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas explained how “all airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft or engine manufacture issues, not airline operational problems. It is the way the flight crew handles these incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one.”

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A man in a bright green safety vest holds a clipboard as he inspects the safety of an airplane

8. Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is the only U.S.-based airline to crack the top 8. The airline has been in operation for 90 years and has over 44 million customers annually. Alaska Airlines has the 7th largest fleet in the U.S. with 329 aircraft in operation. Those planes whisk passengers to 120 destinations across 5 countries. Recently, the airline made headlines for two new programs – they are the first U.S. carrier to issue electronic bag tags, and recently formed a partnership that allows customers to earn miles when they travel with Lyft.

two pilots sit inside an airplane cockpit as they attempt to safely land a plane

7. Emirates

Dubai-based Emirates is often considered one of the best airlines in the world. With 152 destinations across six continents, it typically serves 19 million passengers each year. In 2022 the airline announced an investment of over 2 billion U.S. dollars for onboard improvements. Those upgrades include new menus, specialized training for cabin crew, and upgraded cabin interiors.

6. TAP Air Portugal

Passengers who choose to fly with TAP Air Portugal will not only be flying on one of the safest airlines, but they’ll also be eligible for a free city layover. Travelers can stay for up to 5 days in Lisbon or Porto when their flights connect through one of those cities.

Row Of TAP Air Portugal Aircraft

5. Singapore Airlines

Last year, Singapore Airlines gained another superlative from AirlineRatings. In July, the airline was deemed the 5th best airline in the world. After looking at innovation, comfort, service, and safety, experts determined Singapore Airlines to be among the best in the world.  

4. Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is no stranger to accolades. The Middle Eastern airline has been named “Airline of the Year” for 7 of the past 12 years at the World Airline Awards and is known for its exceptional business class. Passengers who fly with Qatar Airways and have a minimum transit time of 12 hours can book a hotel at a deep discount (starting at $14/night). Tourists who want to explore the small country of Qatar can opt to stay for up to 4 nights at no extra cost.

A Qatar Airlines plane flies through a sky full of puffy white clouds. Qatar Airlines is one of the safest in the world

3. Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways, the UAE’s second-largest airline (after Emirates), was ranked the 3rd best airline by AirlineRatings in 2022. The airline is consistently recognized for pushing the envelope. They were the first airline to vaccinate all of its crew and has been recognized for innovative solutions to reduce its environmental impact.

2. Air New Zealand

Auckland-based Air New Zealand has dropped a spot. Last year they were ranked as the safest airline in the world by AirlineRatings, but come in second this year. Air New Zealand flies to 18 countries including to Los Angeles and San Francisco in the U.S.

Air new Zealand flight

1. Qantas

Australia’s flag carrier Qantas has officially been ranked as the safest airline in the world. Qantas is the world’s oldest continuously operating airline means that it is also the world’s most experienced airline. All that experience has served them well – they’ve had no fatal crashes in over 70 years.

Qantas Airlines has been ranked as the safest in the world. In this image the red tail of an aircraft can be seen as it is parked at a gate.

Where Are All The U.S. Airlines?

While Alaska Airlines is the only U.S.-based carrier in the top 8, that doesn’t mean other U.S. airlines aren’t safe. AirlineRatings has said that the margins between carriers in the top 20 are very slim, meaning that all airlines in the top 20 are very safe. U.S. airlines that are in the top 20 include Hawaiian Airlines (#12), Southwest (#13), Delta (#14), American (#15), and United (#20). Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines were the only U.S. carriers on 2021’s list.

An Alaska Airlines plane travels down the runway with rocky mountains in the background

Top 20 Safest Low-Cost Airlines

In addition to ranking the top airlines, AirlineRatings.com also compiles a list of the safest low-cost airlines. Rather than a ranked list, the top 20 safest low-cost airlines are presented in alphabetical order. 2022’s safest low-cost airlines were:

JetBlue Planes on runway
  • Air Arabia
  • Air Asia Group
  • Allegiant
  • Air Baltic
  • Easyjet
  • FlyDubai
  • Frontier
  • Jetstar Group
  • Jetblue
  • Indigo
  • Ryanair
  • Scoot
  • Southwest
  • Spicejet
  • Spirit
  • Vueling
  • Vietjet
  • Volaris
  • Westjet
  • Wizz

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com


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Michael Z, NYC

Wednesday 4th of January 2023

Thanks for the info, Megan. Yikes: Delta #14, American #15 & United #20. NOT GOOD!

Per

Wednesday 4th of January 2023

Considering that airline staff is fully vaccinated is definitely not somethig that improves safety. We now know that with vaccination comes the risk of sudden death, which is certainly not something we would want from the pilots. Therefore airlines with unvaccinated pilots should rank higher than those with vaccinated ones. In other words, your ranking is seriously flawed.