Aviation safety discussions are now dominated by the global pandemic, but the “Top Twenty Safest Airlines 2021” list compiled by the airline website AirlineRatings.com has nothing to do with Covid-19.
The list, released this week, analyzes crash records and safety compliance to highlight the airlines that are said to lead the way in aviation safety.
The top 10 list
AirlineRatings.com analyzed crashes and major incidents, fleet ages and audits of 385 airlines carried out by governments and aviation associations.
With this analysis, the 10 safest airlines for 2021 were named as follows:
2. Qatar Airways
3. Air New Zealand
4. Singapore Airlines
6. Eva Air
7. Etihad Airways
8. Alaska Airlines
9. Cathay Pacific
10. British Airways
Qantas, Australia’s flagship, has been named the world’s safest airline for the third year in a row.
Qantas is the only airline that would fly Dustin Hoffman’s character in the 1988 film “Rain Man” because he “never crashed”. The airline suffered fatal small aircraft crashes prior to 1951, but has had no fatalities in the 70 years since.
Qantas has not killed any passengers since the beginning of the “jet era” in the 1950s.
Scott Barbour | Getty Images News | Getty Images
“Qantas has been the leading airline in virtually every major advancement in operational safety over the past 60 years and has never had a fatality in the jet-only era,” said Geoffrey Thomas, website editor-in-chief. “But Qantas is not alone. Established airlines like Hawaiian and Finnair have perfect records in the jet era.”
Alongside Air New Zealand and British Airways, the rest of the list is dominated by the “Middle East Three” – as Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways are collectively known – and Asian airlines like Taiwan’s Eva Air and Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific.
Alaska Airlines is the only American airline named among the 10 safest airlines in the world.
The list: 11-20
US and European airlines play a prominent role in the second half of the list. This includes:
11. Virgin Australia / Virgin Atlantic
12. Hawaiian Airlines
13. Southwest Airlines
14. Delta Air Lines
15. American Airlines
16. SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)
20. United Airlines
US airlines were particularly positive in the top 20. Only two of the six American airlines on the 2021 list – Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines – were added to last year’s list.
Alaska Airlines has been named one of the world’s safest airlines for the past six consecutive years.
Robert Alexander | Stock photos | Getty Images
Thomas said that overall there is little real difference in terms of safety between the 20 airlines on the list: “They are all outstanding.”
Safest low-cost airline for 2021
In response to public interest, AirlineRatings.com also announced the 10 safest and “best” low-cost airlines on Monday.
In alphabetical order these are: Air Arabia, Allegiant Air, EasyJet, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Jetstar, Ryanair, Vietjet Air, WestJet and Wizz Air.
Safest airline for Covid
Regardless, the airline rating website announced on Monday the top 20 airlines for compliance with Covid-19 safety regulations.
These airlines are AirBaltic, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, AirAsia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, KLM, Korean Air, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines , Southwest Airlines, Qatar Airways and WestJet.
Singapore Airlines was named one of the safest and most Covid-compliant airlines in the world in 2021.
GOH CHAI HIN | AFP | Getty Images
The website added a Covid-19 check to its airline safety comparison tables.
The airlines receive a compliance star for the introduction of four of the following six criteria: information on the Covid-19 website, social distancing when boarding and during the flight, deep cleaning of aircraft at night, provision of face masks for passengers, personal protective equipment (PPE) ) for cabin crew and changes in catering services.
According to Thomas, 119 airlines achieve the highest Covid-19 rating.
“But it’s disappointing to see 117 get a zero for compliance or have no information to the public about their Covid guidelines on their website,” he said.