Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.
Today: Top 10 safest airlines in the world for 2023
Commercial aviation is regarded as one of the safest forms of travel. Airline accidents have been on a consistent global decline since more than 30 years, thanks to strict regulations and rigorous standards in the aviation industry. That said, some airlines are still better performing than others when it comes to safety standards, and that’s why the Australia-based aviation analysis website AirlineRatings.com produces each year a list of safest airlines in the world after monitoring more than 400 airlines. In making its evaluation of the safest airlines in the world, AirlineRatings.com takes into account a comprehensive range of factors that include: (1) crashes over five years; (2) serious incidents over two years; (3) audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations; (4) fleet age; (5) expert analysis of pilot training; and (6) COVID protocols. Here are the 10 carriers considered to be the safest airlines in 2023 by the AirlineRatings.com website.
There is more information (with trip reports & YouTube videos) below the slideshow. Do you agree with the list? Leave a comment.
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10. VIRGIN ATLANTIC
Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson 38 years ago with innovation and customer service at its core. Today Virgin Atlantic carries 5.5 million customers annually, employs over 9000 people worldwide and operates a fleet of 39 aircraft serving 26 destinations across four continents from its bases at London’s Heathrow, London’s Gatwick, and Manchester airport. Alongside joint venture partner Delta Air Lines they operate the leading transatlantic network – offering up to 39 flights per day between the UK and US with onward connections to over 200 US and international cities. The Virgin-branded airline has not incurred a major accident since its launch in 1984.
- Official website: Virgin Atlantic
- Review: read here my review of Virgin Atlantic’s Business Class in an Airbus A350.
9. EVA AIR
Eva Air is the second largest Taiwanese airline (after China Airlines) and based at Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei, Taiwan. The privately owned carrier is a 5-star airline, rated by Skytrax, and flies to over 40 international destinations spread across 4 continents. Best known for its Hello Kitty-themed planes, Eva Air has always been regarded as one of the best and safest airlines in Asia. The carrier has not suffered any hull losses, accidents, or fatalities since its founding in 1988. The carrier currently operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with A330, A321, B777 and B787 planes mainly used on passenger routes along with B747 and B777 freighter aircraft flown on cargo routes.
8. ALASKA AIRLINES
Since its acquisition of Virgin America in 2016, Alaska Airline is the 5th largest airline of the USA. The carrier operates a large route network, primarily focused on connecting from the state of Alaska and the USA West Coast to over one hundred destinations in the USA, Hawaii, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico. There are more than 45 million passengers that fly with the airline annually. Founded in 1932, the Seattle, Washington-based carrier has earned top marks over the years for its familial ambiance, friendly and relaxed service, on-time performance, excellent loyalty program, great amenities, and safety culture (the airline has not suffered a fatal crash since 2000).
- Official website: Alaska Airlines
Established in 1985, Emirates is the national carrier of the emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Emirates is among the largest and fastest-growing carriers worldwide, and one of the few airlines to operate an all-wide-body aircraft fleet. It is also the largest Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 operator on the planet. Operating from its hub at Dubai International Airport, Emirates provides an extensive network of services within the Middle East as well as to Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, North America, Europe and South America. The airline also has an impressive safety record, with only one hull-loss accident in its 35-year history.
- Official website: Emirates
- Review: read here my review of Emirates’ First Class in an Airbus A380
- Review: read here my review of Emirates’ (new) First Class in a Boeing 777
- Review: read here my review of Emirates’ (old) First Class in a Boeing 777
- Review: read here my review of Emirates’ Business Class in an Airbus A380
- Review: read here my review of Emirates’ (new) Business Class in a Boeing 777
- Review: read here my review of Emirates’ (old) Business Class in a Boeing 777
6. TAP AIR PORTUGAL
TAP Air Portugal is the state-owned flag carrier airline of Portugal, headquartered at Lisbon Airport which also serves as its hub. TAP has been a member of Star Alliance since 2005 and operates on average 2,500 flights a week to 90 destinations in 34 countries worldwide. The company has a fleet of 100 airplanes, all of which manufactured by Airbus with the exception of a dozen Embraer and ATR aircraft, operating on behalf of the regional airline TAP Express. TAP Air Portugal has an excellent safety record and this is not surprising as it has kept its fleet young and was one of the first airlines to adopt large advances in security. The carrier has not suffered a fatality in the modern era.
- Official website: TAP Air Portugal
5. SINGAPORE AIRLINES
When Singapore Airlines was established in 1972, its prospects appeared to mirror those of Singapore itself: to remain a small, regional player with little global influence. But Singapore’s flagship airline has improbably risen to become an instantly recognizable aviation powerhouse with Changi Airport as its hub, and has won more awards than any other airline. Singapore Airlines was the launch customer for the Airbus A380 – the world’s largest passenger aircraft – as well as the Boeing 787-10 and the ultralong range version of the Airbus A350-900. Singapore Airlines is universally lauded for its high-quality service and efficient operations, and also enjoys a reputation as one of the world’s safest airlines since it has been accident-free since 2000.
- Official website: Singapore Airlines
- Review: read here my review of Singapore Airlines’ new First Class in an Airbus A380.
- Review: read here my review of Singapore Airlines’ Business Class in an Airbus A350.
- Review: read here my review of Singapore Airlines’ Business Class in an Airbus A380.
- Review: read here my review of Singapore Airlines’ Business Class in an Airbus A330.
- Review: read here my review of Singapore Airlines’ Business Class in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
4. QATAR AIRWAYS
Since its launch in 1997, Qatar Airways has earned many accolades, becoming one of an elite group of airlines worldwide to have earned a 5-star rating by Skytrax. Qatar’s flagship carrier serves 150 international destinations across Africa, Central Asia, Europe, Far East, South Asia, Middle East, North America, South America and Oceania from its base at Hamad International Airport near Qatar’s capital Doha, using fleet of more than 180 Boeing and Airbus aircraft. As an industry leader in aviation safety, the airline has demonstrated a strong safety and security performance record. Back in 2003, it was the first airline to complete the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) audit with 100 per cent compliance.
- Official website: Qatar Airways
- Review: read here my review of Qatar Airways’s First Class in an Airbus A380.
- Review: read here my review of Qatar Airways’ QSuite Business Class in an Airbus A350.
- Review: read here my review of Qatar Airways’ Business Class in a Dreamliner.
- Review: read here my review of Qatar Airways’ Business Class in a Boeing 777.
- Review: read here my review of Qatar Airways’ Business Class in an A330.
3. ETIHAD AIRWAYS
Etihad Airways is the flag carrier and the second largest airline of the United Arab Emirates (after Emirates). Etihad, which started commercial operations in 2003, uses Abu Dhabi International Airport as its hub. The airline operates more than 1000 flights per week to over 120 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas, with a fleet of more than 120 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Etihad is also one of the ‘greenest’ airlines: the carrier announced a commitment to a minimum target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050. Etihad Airways has maintained a perfect safety record in its 17 years of flying passengers across the globe.
- Official website: Etihad Airways
- Review: read here my review of Etihad Airways’ First Class in an Airbus A380.
- Review: read here my review of Etihad Airways’ Business Class in a Boeing 787.
- Review: read here my review of Etihad Airways’ Business Class in a Boeing 777.
- Review: read here my review of Etihad Airways’ Business Class in an Airbus A330.
2. AIR NEW ZEALAND
Founded in 1940, Air New Zealand provides passenger and cargo services to, from and within New Zealand to approximately 17 million passengers a year. Based in Auckland, the airline operates a global network with 20 domestic and 32 international destinations in 20 countries, primarily around and within the Pacific Rim (Australasia and the South Pacific). Widely known for its safety culture, the airline has been a member of Star Alliance – the world’s largest global airline alliance – since 1999. Air New Zealand currently operates a fleet of Airbus A320, Airbus A320neo, Boeing 777, and Boeing 787 aircraft, as well as a regional fleet of ATR 72 and Bombardier Q300 turboprop aircraft.
- Official website: Air New Zealand
Founded in the Queensland outback in 1920, Qantas is the world’s 3rd oldest airline (behind KLM and Avianca) and has grown to be Australia’s largest airline. Over its 97-year history Qantas has amassed an amazing record of firsts in safety and operations and is widely regarded as the world’s safest airline since it hasn’t suffered any accidents in the modern jet era. Qantas’ reputation for safety gained instant world-wide fame in 1988 because of the movie Rain Man, when Dustin Hoffman’s character claimed that ‘Qantas never crashes’. Australia’s flagship carrier is based in Sydney and flies to 80 destinations in more than 20 countries, using a fleet of modern Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
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El Al should definitely be #1 here. Their airplanes quite literally have protections against missiles and a Sky Marshall is present in every flight.
Umm, no on Etihad. Etihad was in Toulouse picking an A340 and crashed it into a retaining wall. Where is Qantas?
FYI, the Top 20 from the report (and explanation of Qantas missing):
Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, SAS, Qantas, Alaska Airlines, EVA Air, Virgin Australia/Atlantic, Cathay Pacific Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, American Airlines, Lufthansa/Swiss Group, Finnair, Air France/KLM Group, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Emirates.
Qantas lost its number one ranking due to an incident at Perth Airport in 2018, where a combination of factors caused a 737 crew that had just exited runway 03 to taxi past stop bars and enter an active runway – 06 – almost colliding with another company 737 on its take-off roll. The report into that complex and serious incident was not issued till late 2020, and too late to be included in our 2021 safety rankings.
Actually Qantas is on the above list. I definitely dispute Etihad. They had an incident picking up an A340 in Toulouse. The Etihad flight crew were revving up the engines with the parking brakes disabled. The aircraft went up against a concrete blast deflection wall. Nine people were injured. The aircraft was a total loss.
No reviews of Air New Zealand / New Zealand yet Luxury Travel Expert? Hopefully you’ll get a chance soon!
Just curious where’s emirates? They’re pretty safe aren’t they?
I always wonder where Ryanair falls within this category. Love it or hate it, I’m not aware of any accidents and, with the number of aircraft it has, all flying short haul and therefore with an awful lot of take-offs and landings, the most critical parts of any flight, it must be up there.
the take off sound is incredible, such a shame that this “created pandemic” by governments and it rules keep us from flying all around the world
Emirates just had a take-off occur with the wrong flap settings which resulted in an “overspeed” situation. Happened on 12/20/2021.
Emirates should have been on this list
Finnair should definitely on the last. They have operated continuously since 1923, and they have had no fatal accidents for the last 25 years.
SAS should be out. They have had a string of hijackings and accidents since the late ’40s.
Singapore pilots crashed SQ 006, a Boeing 747-412 into the wrong runway in Taipei in 2000. That accident has been the third most serious airplane accident in Taiwan ever.
Correction on my post: Finnair should definitely be on the list of safest airlines.
@Dr. Milton Amayun,
The accident on 31 October 2000 – Singapore Airlines Flight 006, killed 83 people. So while the aircraft wasn’t in the air, it was definitely a bad accident. Yup, Singapore can’t be qualified as a safest airline.
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