Qantas takes out the 2020 world's safest airline awards

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They may not have been many flights in the air last year, but had enough data to rank Qantas the world’s safest airline.

It’s the sixth time the ‘Flying Kangaroo’ has been named the world’s safest airline in the annual rankings seen as the benchmark for airline safety worldwide.

Where Airline Ratings usually names the safest airline then ranks the rest of the top 20 equally, this year it’s named the safest airlines in order.

Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Emirates followed Qantas to make up the top five.

“These airlines have outstanding records and are at the forefront of safety,” said editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas.

Qantas’ latest accolade makes a nice gift for the airline which, in November 2020, celebrated its 100th birthday.

“Last year was extremely difficult for airlines with COVID-19 slashing travel and AirlineRatings editors have looked particularly at the lengths airlines are going to re-train pilots ahead of a return to service,” said Mr Thomas.

“In the case of Qantas, a 737 pilot goes through a six-day course including a day on wellbeing.

“Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years and has not had a fatality in the pure-jet era.”

Assessing factors including airline’s crash and serious incident record, audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations; government audits, and fleet age, rates the world’s airlines from one to seven stars.

Last year it added COVID-19 safety ratings for airlines, with mandatory face masks, daily deep clean of aircraft, flight crew wearing personal protective equipment, sanitation packs for passengers and changes to food service for improved hygiene also being assessed.

Air travel in 2020 still proved to be particularly dangerous, despite the significant reduction in flights.

There were 40 accidents involving commercial airlines, five of which resulted in 299 deaths, according to data from Dutch aviation consulting firm To70.

In 2019, there were 86 accidents, eight of which had fatalities resulting in 257 deaths.

Most of the deaths in 2020 came from the January shooting of a Ukrainian aircraft shortly after take-off in Iran, when 176 people were killed.

Airlines that received a one-star rating for safety were Nepal Airlines, Iran Aseman Airlines, Blue Wing (Suriname), Air Blue (Pakistan), Scat (Kazakhstan), Air Algerie (Algeria) and Pakistan International Airlines.

The Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 that crashed near Karachi in May resulted in the second-highest fatalities from a single accident, killing 98.

The world’s safest airlines for 2021

  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Air New Zealand
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Emirates
  • EVA Air
  • Etihad Airways
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • British Airways
  • Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • American Airlines
  • SAS
  • Finnair
  • Lufthansa
  • KLM
  • United Airlines

With which airline do you feel safest?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



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