Safest airlines in the world revealed: Qantas is No1 with British Airways and American Airlines in the top 20, while Afghanistan’s national carrier is among the least safe

  • revealed the top 20 safest carriers after studying 400 
  • They also include Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Emirates and United Airlines
  • Low-cost carriers Flybe, Thomas Cook, JetBlue and Frontier are also rated safe
  • Among least safe airlines, two came from Afghanistan and one from Suriname

The world’s safest airlines for 2019 have been revealed by a leading aviation group – and Qantas is named as having the best safety record.

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia as well as American Airlines also make the top 20 list of the world’s safest carriers.

The list of the least safe airlines, meanwhile, includes Afghanistan’s national flag carrier, Ariana Afghan Airlines.

Qantas has been named as the world’s safest airline for 2019 by leading aviation group 

Australia-based releases its safety ranking each year after studying audits from aviation governing bodies, government audits, airlines’ crash and serious incident records and fleet age.

In total it studies 400 carriers. 

Top rated Qantas is praised by the review website for being the world’s oldest continuously operating airline.

It also notes that the Australian flag carrier had been a leader in helping to develop several innovative safety features. 

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These include the Future Air Navigation System – a space-based navigation and communication set-up that will lead to a quantum leap in capacity and service performance, with flight crews and air traffic controllers less reliant on ground infrastructure to communicate. 

The website also said Qantas has been the lead airline in real-time monitoring of engines, so problems can be detected quickly.

The rest of the top 20 safest airlines are listed in alphabetical order.


Air New Zealand

Alaska Airlines

All Nippon Airways

American Airlines

Austrian Airlines

British Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways




Hawaiian Airlines




Qatar Airways

Scandinavian Airline System

Singapore Airlines

Swiss Air Lines

United Airlines

Virgin Atlantic and Australia

Source: Listed alphabetically. 

Those singled out for praise also include Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Austrian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and EVA Air.

The rest of the top 20 is made up of Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Swiss and United Airlines.

Meanwhile, also identified the top ten safest low cost airlines for 2019.

British-based Flybe and Thomas Cook, US carriers JetBlue and Frontier and Australian airline Jetstar all make the list.

Making up the rest of the top ten are HK Express, Volaris, Vueling, Westjet and Wizz.

As well as Ariana Afghan Airlines, others that are named the least safe carriers for 2019 are Bluewing Airlines from Suriname, Indonesia-based Trigana Air Service and Kam Air, which also operates out of Afghanistan.

British Airways, pictured, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and American Airlines make the top 20 list of the world’s safest carriers


Ariana Afghan Airlines – Afghanistan

Bluewing Airlines – Suriname

Kam Air – Afghanistan

Trigana Air Service – Indonesia

Source: Listed alphabetically. Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said: ‘All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems.

‘It is the way the flight crew handles incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one. So just lumping all incidents together is very misleading.

‘And some countries’ incident reporting systems are weak, further complicating matters.’

News of the world’s safest airlines comes just days after another annual report said the fatality rate on passenger jets worldwide jumped in 2018.

Dutch aviation consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network both reported there were more than 500 deaths stemming from passenger airline crashes in 2018.

However, in 2017, airlines recorded zero accident deaths on commercial planes. 


Flybe – UK

Frontier – USA

HK Express – Hong Kong 

Jetblue – USA 

Jetstar Australia / Asia – Australia 

Thomas Cook – UK

Volaris – Mexico 

Vueling – Spain

Westjet – Canada 

Wizz – Hungary

Source: Listed alphabetically. 

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