This is the safest airline in the world in 2023

Air travel can be a stressful process, from shuffling through security to dealing with cancellations and delays. But one stressor that no passenger should have to worry about is the security credentials of the plane they’re on.

Fortunately, airline safety website audits airlines around the world every year – monitoring serious safety incidents at 385 airlines – to find out which are the world’s 20 safest. “All airlines have incidents every day, and many are aircraft or engine manufacturing issues, not operational issues,” Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of AirlineRatings, said in a statement. “It is the way the flight crew handles these incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one.”

The site’s staff analyzes each airline’s records for crashes over the past five years, serious incidents over two years, audits from aviation governing bodies and associations; the age of the fleet, expert analysis of pilot training and Covid protocols. In addition to these criteria, each airline that makes the list is also at the top of the industry in terms of safety innovations and has added cutting-edge aircraft to its fleets, such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, according to Thomas.

This year, the safest airline in the world is Australia’s Qantas – which has held the title several times before, but dropped to number seven in 2022. “During its 100-year operational history, the world’s oldest continuously operating airline has amassed an amazing record of in operations and safety and is now accepted as the industry’s most experienced airline,” wrote AirlineRating’s editors.

One British airline, British Airways, made the list at number 17. Five US airlines also made the list, including Alaska Airlines, which is ranked number eight on the list and the only US airline in the top 10.

The full list of AirlineRatings’ top 20 safest airlines in the world for 2023 is:

  1. Qantas
  2. Air New Zealand
  3. Etihad Airways
  4. Qatar Airways
  5. Singapore Airlines
  6. TAP Air Portugal
  7. Emirates
  8. Alaska Airlines
  9. EVA Air
  10. Virgin Australia/Atlantic
  11. Cathay Pacific Airways
  12. Hawaiian Airlines
  13. SAS
  14. United Airlines
  15. Lufthansa/Swiss Group
  16. Finnair
  17. British Airways
  18. KLM
  19. American Airlines
  20. Delta Air Lines

This year, the aviation safety website also released an expanded list of the 20 safest low-cost airlines in 2023 (it previously ranked only the 10 safest low-cost airlines around the world). These airlines, listed in alphabetical order, are: Air Arabia, AirAsia Group, Allegiant, Air Baltic, Easyjet, FlyDubai, Frontier, Jetstar Group, Jetblue, Indigo, Ryanair, Scoot, Southwest, Spicejet, Spirit, Vueling, Vietjet, Volaris, Westjet and Wizz. AirlineRatings rates low-cost airlines on factors such as the results of safety audits by the International Civil Aviation Organization, safety incident records over the past two years, crash records over the past five years, overall fleet age and whether they are included on the EU’s list of banned carriers.

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