At a time when another COVID-19 surge clouds over traveling, the value of airline safety is at an all-time high.
The focus on safety around the virus is reflected in AirlineRatings.com’s annual list of the world’s safest airlines, with some significant changes seen in 2021. Across the board, the second year of the pandemic showed continued low numbers of passengers on flights taking the skies.
When people are traveling, the safest airline – according to the annual list – is Air New Zealand. AirlineRatings.com monitors 385 airlines from across the world, measuring factors that include crash and serious incidents, age of aircraft and, most notably, COVID-19 protocols.
Are flights still being canceled?:Yes. More than 1,500 cancellations so far Tuesday.
“Air New Zealand is a leader in this field with comprehensive retraining,” said Geoffrey Thomas, the editor-in-chief of AirlineRatings.com, an Australian-based website rating airline product and safety, told CNN.
“The last two years have been extremely difficult for airlines with Covid-19 slashing travel and Airline Ratings editors have particularly focused on the lengths airlines are undertaking to retrain pilots ahead of a return to service.”
Etihad Airways came in second place, with Qatar Airways taking third, Singapore Airlines going fourth and TAP Portugal rounding out the top five.
Qantas, the world’s safest airline the past several years, came in seventh place, likely as a result of an October Boeing flight that was diverted due to a fuel imbalance and deemed a “serious incident.”
The top 20 airlines determined by the website is noticeably missing Southwest Airlines, which was ranked 13th in 2021. The full list includes:
1. Air New Zealand
2. Etihad Airways
3. Qatar Airways
4. Singapore Airlines
5. TAP Air Portugal
8. Alaska Airlines
9. EVA Air
10. Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic
11. Cathay Pacific Airways
12. Hawaiian Airlines
13. American Airlines
17. British Airways
18. Delta Air Lines
19. United Airlines