Qantas and Air New Zealand top annual airline safety ratings

18 January 2019 2 min. read
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Oceania has come out strong in’s 2019 rankings of the world’s safest airlines. Australia-based Qantas Airways is the safest in the world, according to the list.

Other airlines in Oceania, such as Virgin Atlantic and Air New Zealand, also made the top-20 list. Jetstar, a subsidiary of Qantas, made the site’s list of the year’s safest low-cost airlines.

Each of the 20 airlines on the list received a perfect score of seven out of seven stars. These scores are based on factors including audits from aviation’s governing bodies, crash and incident records, profitability, safety initiatives, and fleet age. Only serious incidents are taken into consideration, according to Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of 

“All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems,” Thomas said. “It is the way the flight crew handles incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one.”

Qantas and Air New Zealand top annual airline safety ratingsEntering its 99th year, Qantas is the world’s oldest continuously operating airline, and the third-oldest in the world. It has consistently set the bar for aviation safety and operations, including playing a key role in the development of the Future Air Navigation System, which provides a direct data link communication between pilots and air traffic control. It was also one of the first airlines to use the flight data recorder to monitor plane and crew performance.

Qantas ranked 18th on the AirlineRating’s 2018 list, with Business Insider calling Qantas “the Volvo of the airline industry” because of its immaculate safety record. The airline has not had a fatal crash since 1951. In 2008, Qantas successfully defended its series of advertisements’ claim that the airline was the “world’s most experienced airline,” after it came under by the investigation by the British Advertising Standards Authority.

“Not only has Qantas been in full operation longer than any other airline in the world, but the depth and breadth of our experience as a long-haul carrier backs this up,” John Borghetti, then Qantas’ executive general manager, said in a statement at the time.

Qantas and its subsidiaries, together the largest airline in Oceania, operate a fleet of 285 aircraft. Air New Zealand is the third largest, with a fleet 115-strong, including regional subsidiaries.