A new industry analysis has named Qantas Airways the world’s safest airline. According to safety and product review site AirlineRatings.com, the Australian flag carrier topped the list for 2023.
The report analyzed data from almost 400 airlines and travel companies worldwide. Qantas came out on top, narrowly beating last year’s winners Air New Zealand, who came in a close second.
As noted by the report, the results are based on several factors, such as the number of crashes an airline has had over the last five years and severe incidents over the previous two years. Also, the report includes audits from governing bodies and regulators, the average age of the airline’s fleet, pilot training assessments, safety initiatives, and anti-COVID measures.
This year, the report praised Australia’s national carrier for its “amazing record of firsts in operations and safety,” which, according to the site, means it is “accepted as the industry’s most experienced airline.”
Qantas has long been at the forefront of the development of air safety technology, including the Future Air Navigation System, automatic landings, and precision approaches around mountains in all weather conditions. It has also recently updated its fleet, ordering 12 Airbus A350-1000s, 20 Airbus A321 XLRs, and 20 Airbus A220s, which will be delivered over the next ten years.
Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines made up the rest of the top 5 safest airlines for 2023. In addition, five North American carriers—Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines—did make the top 20.
|Average Fleet Age||2022 Ranking|
|1. Qantas||14 years||7|
|2. Air New Zealand||8.7 years||1|
|3. Etihad Airways||7.1 years||2|
|4. Qatar Airways||8.2 years||3|
|5. Singapore Airlines||7.1 years||4|
|6. TAP Air Portugal||9 years||5|
|7. Emirates||9.2 years||20|
|8. Alaska Airlines||9 years||8|
|9. EVA Air||8 years||9|
|10. Virgin Australia/Atlantic||23.4/6.8 years||10|
|11. Cathay Pacific Airways||10.5 years||11|
|12. Hawaiian Airlines||11.5 years||12|
|13. Scandinavian Airlines||8.9 years||6|
|14. United Airlines||16.8 years||19|
|15. Lufthansa/Swiss Group||13 years||14|
|16. Finnair||12.4 years||15|
|17. British Airways||13.6 years||17|
|18. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines||13.1 years||16|
|19. American Airlines||12.4 years||13|
|20. Delta Air Lines||14.7 years||18|
Geoffrey Thomas, Editor-in-Chief at AirlineRatings.com, said that while the sheer number of incidents may be off-putting for travelers, the vast majority of air incidents are minor and that they shouldn’t necessarily cast doubt on an airline’s safety record based on these rankings alone.
“All airlines have incidents every day, and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems,” said Thomas. “It is the way the flight crew handles incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one. So just lumping all incidents together is very misleading. And some country’s incident reporting systems are weak, further complicating matters.”
The airline safety website also revealed the 20 safest low-cost carriers in the world, following public requests. North American carriers included in this list are Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, and WestJet.