Qantas tops the list for the fourth year in a row on AirlineRatings.com’s list of safest airlines for 2017. The site, which is the world’s only safety and product rating website, takes into account numerous factors, including audits from aviation’s governing bodies and leading associations, government audits, airline’s crash and serious incident record, profitability and fleet age. The site’s editorial team also examines each airline’s fleet history and its track record of initiating new safety technology to arrive at the top safest airlines.
Australia’s Qantas won the crown again with a fatality free record over its 96-year history, an extraordinary achievement. U.S.-based carriers Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines all received spots on the list as well. In fact, of the 425 airlines surveyed, 148 of them have the top seven-star safety rating. There are only 50 airlines worldwide that have three stars or less.
World’s safest airlines, in alphabetical order:
Air New Zealand
All Nippon Airways
Cathay Pacific Airways
Delta Air Lines
Scandinavian Airline System
AirlineRatings.com also named its top ten safest low-cost airlines. All of these airlines passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which has over 1000 audit items, and have excellent safety records.
Safest low-cost airlines, in alphabetical order:
The site has also determined that—despite some high-profile accidents in 2016—the number of crashes has shown a steady decline over the past two decades. Statistics from the Netherlands-based Aviation Safety Network (ASN) show that 2016 was the second safest year on record to take a flight, with only 19 fatal accidents and 325 deaths. Unfortunately, this is actually an increase from 16 accidents in 2015, but 2016 is still the second safest year on record. The ASN’s analysis of a five-year average also found that accidents occurring during approach and landing fell to their lowest point in 45 years. Just goes to show that aviation is still by far the safest way to travel.