It may be surprising that the world’s only airline safety rating company is only four years old. What’s not surprising however, is that since its inception in 2013, only one airline has repeatedly taken home the honours of the world’s safest airline. If it had been around for a hundred years, chances are that this year’s winner would still be undefeated.
Yup, as certain as death and taxes, Australia’s Qantas remains the safest carrier in the business for 2017, according to Airlineratings.com.
Each year, 425 global airlines are monitored for numerous factors to determine the year’s winner. These include government audits, crash and serious incident records, the audit results of aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations and age of fleet.
In addition to the winner, the top 20 safest airlines are also identified, and in alphabetical order, the 2017 finalists include the following:
Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.
Also taken into consideration are a carrier’s fleet history as well as its track record of safety initiatives and innovation. In Qantas’ remarkable 96-year history, the airline still has a fatality-free record while amassing an amazing record of firsts in operations and safety.
It was Qantas that led the development of the Future Air Navigation System, the Flight Data Recorder to monitor plane, and today, even crew performance. Qantas has also led in automatic landing technology, using the Global Navigation Satellite System for precision approaches around mountains in cloud. The airline was also first to monitor its engines across its fleet in real-time using satellite communications, detecting problems before they pose a serious risk.
Airlineratings.com also monitors worldwide low-cost carriers and releases a Top 10 list annually. In alphabetical order, this year’s safest low-cost airlines are:
Aer Lingus, Flybe, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia, Jetstar Asia, Thomas Cook, Virgin America, and Canada’s very own, WestJet!
So, how safe is air travel overall? Well, 148 of the 425 airlines monitored came out with a seven-star safety ranking – the highest possible. Less than 50 carriers scored three stars or less and 14 airlines bottomed out with just a single star, originating from Afghanistan, Indonesia, Nepal and Surinam.
Taking everything into account, 2016 was the second safest year for flying in aviation history with just one fatality for every 3.2 million flights.