Qantas, Australia’s flag carrier, has been named the world’s safest airline for 2019, according to The Independent. AirlineRatings makes a list of the safest airlines around the world every year based on factors like audits by aviation’s governing bodies and by independent governing bodies; records of crashes and serious incidents; safety initiatives; and fleet age in respect to profitability.
Qantas was picked this year largely due to the safety initiatives it has taken in recent years. It is leading the development of the Future Air Navigation System, a data recorder that will monitor plane and crew performance. Qantas is also driving testing on systems that can automate landings and increase precision while navigating obstacles like mountains. Qantas is a leader in real-time engine monitoring, which can allow mechanics to identify potential hazards before they cause incidents in flight.
“All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems,” said Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief at AirlineRatings. “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 countries incident reporting systems are weak further complicating matters.
“Qantas was a clear winner given its industry leadership in safety innovation,” Thomas said. “The top 20 safest airlines are all exceptional operations and the benchmark for excellence when its comes to safety and reliability.”
AirlineRatings ranks these airlines as the twenty safest in the world: Air New Zealand; Alaska Airlines; All Nippon Airways; American Airlines; Austrian Airlines; British Airways; Cathay Pacific Airways; Emirates; EVA Air; Finnair; Hawaiian Airlines; KLM Royal Dutch Airlines; Lufthansa; Qantas; Qatar; Scandinavian Airline System (SAS); Singapore Airlines; Swiss; United Airlines; and the Virgin Group.
“Two US giants American Airlines and United Airlines are in the top 20 as they have reduced their fleet age significantly taking delivery of a large number of new aircraft,” said Thomas. “Japan Airlines was excluded this year one of its pilots was found to be intoxicated at Heathrow Airport. Etihad was also excluded because of its significant losses.”
AirlineRatings has listed these as the top ten safest low-cost airlines in the world: Flybe; Frontier; HK Express; JetBlue; Jetstar Australia / Asia; Thomas Cook; Volaris; Vueling; WestJet; and WIZZ Air.
Airlines that ranked the lowest in safety
Qantas held the World’s Safest title from 2014-2017, but it lost the title in 2018 because AirlineRatings did not name a clear winner. Besides Qantas, none of the top airlines were placed in order this year.
Featured image by Alexander Zur/Aeronautics Online