Qantas has been named the world’s safest airline for 2019 after maintaining its perfect jet-era record throughout last year.
It’s the fifth year in a row the flying kangaroo has taken out top honours on AirlineRatings.com‘s list of the world’s 20 safest airlines.
“In selecting Qantas as the world’s safest airline for 2019, AirlineRatings.com editors noted that 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,” it said.
Qantas had been a favourite to take out the title.
“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 jet era,” editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said.
“But Qantas is not alone. Long established airlines such as Hawaiian and Finnair also have perfect records in the jet era.”
In more good news for Australian travellers, the list also included other local carriers – Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. Qantas offshoot Jetstar featured on the website’s list of the safest low-cost carriers.
Qantas, Virgin and Air NZ all scored a maximum seven-star rating from the website. Jetstar Australia, Asia and Pacific also had seven stars, but Jetstar Japan scored only four.
Australia’s other budget carrier, Tigerair, also scored four out of seven, and did not make the best-of-the-best list.
Mr Thomas said all of the top 20 named airlines were industry standouts, at the forefront of safety, innovation and the launching of new aircraft.
“All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems,” he said. “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.”
Qantas’s win came as AirlineRatings.com said 2018 was the worst for fatal crashes since 2014, with 16 crashes claiming 555 lives.
The worst was the loss of the Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX, which crashed on October 29 soon after take-off from Jakarta, killing all 189 onboard.
Despite the rise in the number of deaths, the accident rate continues to decline overall. AirlineRatings.com said there were 4.5 billion passengers carried on 45 million flights in 2018, translating into a fatal accident rate of one in every 2.8 million flights.
AirlineRatings was launched in June 2013 and rates the safety and in-flight products of 405 airlines. Its seven-star system takes into account audits from governing and industry bodies, crash and serious incident records, profitability, safety initiatives and fleet age.
AirlineRatings.com said its top-10, low-cost carriers had all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit and had excellent safety records.