SAS and Finnair are in the top 20 safest airlines, while the ten safest low-cost carriers and a few of the least safe airlines are also named.
SAS and Finnair are among the world’s 20 safest airlines for 2019, according to AirlineRatings.com.
The site, which gives expert safety ratings for more than 400 carriers around the world, also announced its ten safest low-cost airlines for 2019 as well as several of the world’s least safe airlines to avoid.
In making its evaluations, Australia-based Airline Ratings says it takes into account a range of factors that include audits from aviation’s governing and industry bodies, government audits, airlines’ crash and serious incident record, profitability, industry-leading safety initiatives and fleet age.
The 20 safest airlines “have always been at the forefront of safety innovation and launching new aircraft and they have become a byword for excellence,” the site claims.
The carriers are named in alphabetical order: Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines and the Virgin Group.
According to Geoffrey Thomas, Airline Ratings’ editor, these companies “are standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation and launching of new aircraft”.
The site places Qantas at the top of the heap as the world’s safest airline for 2019, as “over its 98-year history the world’s oldest continuously operating airline has amassed an amazing record of firsts in operations and safety and is now accepted as the industry’s most experienced airline”.
The Top 10 safest low-cost were named, in alphabetical order, as Flybe, Frontier, HK Express, JetBlue, Jetstar, Thomas Cook, Volaris, Vueling, WestJet and Wizz Air.
“Unlike a number of low-cost carriers, these airlines have all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and have excellent safety records,” Airline Ratings says.
However, Thomas cautioned: “All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems. It is the way the flight crew handles incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one. […] And some countries’ incident reporting systems are weak, further complicating matters.”
Airline Ratings’ lowest ranked airlines are: Ariana Afghan Airlines, Suriname’s Blue Wing Airlines, Kabul-based Kam Air and Indonesia’s Trigana Air.