Air New Zealand has been bumped from the top spot in the annual list of the world’s safest airlines.
The national carrier topped the airlineratings.com poll of 385 airlines last year but slips to second this time out, losing out “by the finest of margins” to Tasman rivals Qantas.
The ratings are compiled using a range of factors including serious incidents, audits from aviation governing bodies, safety initiatives and fleet age.
Qantas fell to seventh in last year’s poll following a safety incident at Perth Airport, involving a near miss between two aircraft during takeoff.
However, the Australian carrier reclaimed the title it has won multiple times since the rankings were started in 2013.
AirlineRatings.com editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said that “all airlines have incidents every day, and many are aircraft or engine manufacturing issues, not airline operational problems. It is the way the flight crew handles these incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one”.
“Our Top 20 safest airlines are all standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation, and launching of new aircraft. In fact, the safety margins between these top 20 airlines are very small, they are all outstanding airlines.”
A separate non-ranked list of the world’s safest low-cost carriers includes Jetstar and AirAsia.
While the rankings don’t name the least safe airlines, the carriers with only a one-star rating are Nepal Airlines, Airblue (Pakistan), Scat (Kazakhstan), Iran Aseman Airlines, Sriwijaya Air (Indonesia), Blue Wing (Suriname) , Pakistan International Airlines and Air Algerie (Algeria).
Top 20 safest airlines for 2023
- Air New Zealand
- Etihad Airways
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- TAP Air Portugal
- Alaska Airlines
- EVA Air
- Virgin Australia/Atlantic
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Hawaiian Airlines
- United Airlines
- Lufthansa/Swiss Group
- British Airways
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
Top 20 safest low-cost airlines for 2023
*In alphabetical order
- Air Arabia
- Air Baltic