World's Safest Airlines Named
The world's safest airlines have been named in two sets of annual rankings, with Qantas and Cathay Pacific taking the number one spots.
The rankings from AirlineRatings.com put Qantas at number one for the fourth year in a row. The website said the Flying Kangaroo's record of zero fatalities in the jet era was extraordinary, Traveller.com.au reported.
Airline Ratings named the rest of its top 20 safest airlines in alphabetical order: Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.
The website ranked airlines based on audits from aviation's governing bodies and lead associations; government audits; airline's crash and serious incident record; profitability and fleet age.
Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific carrier was also named the world's safest airline for the third year in a row by Germany's Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center, or JACDEC. Air New Zealand followed in second place with China's Hainan Airlines rounding off the top three.
Despite recent high-profile incidents, including the November crash of a LaMia jet, killing 71 people, including a Brazilian football team, and the loss of a Russian plane carrying a military choir on Christmas Eve, 2016 was the second-safest year on record for air travel.
JACDEC reported a total of 321 fatalities, 376 incidents, 219 serious incidents and 37 hull losses among the carriers surveyed. Although these numbers may appear high at first glance, 2017 saw about 3.5 billion air passengers fly, which puts the incidents at one death for every 10,769,230 travelers.
Other high-profile accidents in 2016 included the loss of an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo, which disappeared in the Mediterranean in May, and Flydubai Flight 981 that crashed after an aborted landing in Russia.
2013 remains the safest year on record for flying with 29 fatal crashes and 265 deaths.