Safety was certainly a buzzword when it came to travel in 2020, and that’s likely to carry over into 2021. AirlineRatings, which evaluates 385 airlines around the world, just released its official list of the safest airlines for 2021. The ranking is determined by factors like crash frequency, incident records, aircraft age, and scandals surrounding the airline. This year Qantas has been named the safest airline, continuing its run of success from 2014 to 2017, 2019, and 2020, when it was also named the world’s safest airline.
Geoffrey Thomas, AirlineRatings’ editor-in-chief, told CNN Travel that their criteria was adjusted this year. “Over the past two years,” Thomas said, “we have become aware that some airlines, which had passed bi-annual safety audits, were not on a day-to-day basis following the operational disciplines required by the auditors. Accidents and incidents make up five of our seven star rating with audits accounting for one and Covid-19 compliance the final star for a maximum seven-star ranking.”
The world’s 10 safest airlines in 2021 according to AirlineRatings are:
- Qatar Airways
- Air New Zealand
- Singapore Airlines
- EVA Air
- Etihad Airways
- Alaska Airlines
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- British Airways
The emphasis on safety has been even more pronounced during the pandemic, leading AirlineRatings to create a separate list of the top COVID-19 compliant airlines. This list includes Air Baltic, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, AirAsia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, KLM, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Qatar Airways and WestJet.