Qantas downgraded on Safety Index

QANTAS only ranks 13th in the world in terms of airline safety according to a European group of airline safety enthusiasts, a far cry from the previously prized number one ranking immortalised by Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man.

Its trans-Tasman rival, Air New Zealand, ranked as the world's second-safest airline in the same rankings, behind only Finland's national carrier Finnair.

Qantas's chief rival in Australia, Virgin Australia, was ranked ninth.

The Germany-based Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center, or JACDEC, calculates its annual rankings based on aircraft loss accidents and serious incidents where an accident nearly occurred over the past 30 years.

The resulting Safety Index relates the accidents to the revenue per passenger kilometre [RPK] performed by the airline over the same time.