World’s best and worst airlines for 2018
THE latest safety rankings for airlines are out - and while some of the world's biggest names are celebrating, there are a few carriers you should definitely reconsider flying with.
And the aviation safety and product rating website also named Jetstar Australia among the 10 safest low-cost carriers in the world.
But there are seven airlines the experts have named and shamed as the worst in the world.
Four Nepalese airlines - Buddha Air, Nepal Airlines, Tara Air and Yeti Airlines - were awarded the lowest safety rating, along with North Korea's Air Koryo, Indonesia's Trigana Air Service and Blue Wing Airlines in Suriname.
Those airlines received just one star out of a possible seven, based on criteria including audits from aviation's governing bodies and lead associations, government audits, records of crashes and serious incidents and the fleet age.
At the other end of the scale, the 20 safest airlines in the world received seven-star ratings.
They include (in alphabetical order): Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.
And overall, air travel is safer than ever, according to Airlineratings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas.
"Certainly, air travel is safer today than at any time in history but passengers still need to know which are the best of the best," Thomas says.
"Our top 20 safest airlines are always at the forefront of safety innovation, operational excellence and the launching of new more advanced aircraft like the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787."
He says although Qantas has long been considered the world's safest airline, others deserve recognition.
"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," Thomas says.
"But Qantas is not alone. Long established airlines such as Hawaiian and Finnair have perfect records in the jet era."
And while budget airlines tend to get a bad rap, 10 stood out for their excellent safety record. They include Aer Lingus, Flybe, Frontier, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia, Thomas Cook, Virgin America, Vueling and Westjet. Unlike some low cost carriers, these airlines have all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit and have excellent safety records.
Thomas says the site only looks at serious incidents as it ranks 409 airlines around the world.
"All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues not airline operational problems. And 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," he says.
"An excellent example of that was the Qantas A380 incident in 2010 when a Rolls Royce engine shattered after takeoff from Singapore. The fault was entirely with a fault in manufacture but the pilot skills of the Qantas crew saved the plane according to Australia's crash investigators."
For more travel news and advice, sign up to Escape's newsletter.