World’s safest airlines for 2018

Stephanie Yip 4 January 2018 NEWS


Qantas and Virgin Australia remain ahead of the pack for safety and reliability.

Overall, flying is a safe way to get around but some of us still worry about that teeny tiny chance of something happening.

One way to get over your nerves is to choose a carrier that has been recognised for being the safest in the industry and a lack of incidents. To help make your decision easier, Airline Ratings has just released a list of the world's 20 safest airlines for 2018 and you might be happy to hear that both Qantas and Virgin Australia placed well this year.

World's safest airlines (in alphabetical order)

The top 20 safest airline standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation, and launching of new planes.

Last year, Qantas was called out as the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement. This year, there was a clear Top 3, with Hawaiian Airlines and Finnair also recognised for having perfect records.

Interestingly, British Airways, Royal Jordanian are new on the list, while American Airlines and United Airlines have slipped out of the top 20.

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. Alaska Airlines
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. British Airways
  5. Cathay Pacific Airways
  6. Emirates
  7. Etihad Airways
  8. EVA Air
  9. Finnair
  10. Hawaiian Airlines
  11. Japan Airlines
  12. KLM
  13. Lufthansa
  14. Qantas
  15. Royal Jordanian Airlines
  16. Scandinavian Airline System
  17. Singapore Airlines
  18. Swiss
  19. Virgin Atlantic
  20. Virgin Australia

How does the World's Safest Airline list compare to the list of Top 10 best airlines?

Each year, Skytrax also releases a list of its top airlines based on an annual customer satisfaction survey. Many of the top-rated airlines also appear on Airline Ratings' list of the world's safest airlines, including Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, ANA All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific and Emirates.

The only carriers on the list of best airlines that were not included in the top 20 safety list were Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and Garuda Indonesia. Airline Ratings gave Thai Airways a rating of 4/7 for not being FAA endorsed and not meeting any of the ICAO safety parameters.

Turkish Airlines received a safety rating of 6/7 due to a fatality in 2009 and Garuda Indonesia received a rating of 5/7 for not meeting any of the ICAO safety parameters.

Top 10 safest low-cost airlines

Airline Ratings also announced a list of its top low-cost airlines. All of the top 10 received 7 stars which means you can still book those budget tickets without the need to worry.

Of Australia's low cost contenders, Jetstar came on top placing 6th in the list with Tigerair not making the cut this year.

  1. Aer Lingus
  2. Flybe
  3. Frontier
  4. HK Express
  5. Jetblue
  6. Jetstar Australia
  7. Thomas Cook
  8. Virgin America
  9. Vueling
  10. Westjet

The 7 airlines ranked lowest for safety (in alphabetical order)

These airlines only received one star by Airline Ratings for safety.

  1. Air Koryo
  2. Bluewing Airlines
  3. Buddha Air
  4. Nepal Airlines
  5. Tara Air
  6. Trigana Air Service
  7. Yeti Airlines

How is this list compiled?

To assess this list, the site monitors and analyses a total of 409 airlines, taking into account available information and audits as well as the airline’s fatality and crash record. The operational history and incident records of each airline are also reviewed.

Assessments of safety are rated out of 7 stars.

  • Being airline IOSA (International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit) certified (two stars)
  • Not being on the European Union Blacklist (one star)
  • Being fatality-free for the past 10 years (one star)
  • Being FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) endorsed (one star)
  • Originating from a country that meets all 8 ICAO safety parameters (International Civil Aviation Organization) (two stars)

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