An annual survey of over 400 global airlines has declared the UAE’s Etihad as one of the safest air carrier to fly with.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier was one of the airlines praised for their safety record and the only aviation company from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region to make it into the top 20. From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways operates a fleet of 123 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with 204 aircraft on firm order as of October 2016.
Overall, Australia’s Qantas took home the crown as the safest for the fourth year running, with its “extraordinary” fatality-free record in the jet era.
AirlineRatings.com compiled the list after taking into account a number of factors, including airline’s crash and serious incident record; profitability and fleet age; audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations and government audits.
There were 425 airlines surveyed, with 148 of them earning top seven-star safety ranking and 50 achieving only three stars or less. Making up the remainder of the top 20 in alphabetical order are: Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.
In choosing Qantas as the world’s safest carrier, AirlineRatings said that over its 96-year history, the Australian carrier has “amassed an amazing record of firsts in operations and safety” and is now accepted by the British Advertising Standards Association as the industry’s most experienced carrier.
“Qantas was the lead airline with real-time monitoring of its engines across its fleet using satellite communications, which has enabled the airline to detect problems before they become a major safety issue,”AirlineRatings said.
At least ten low-cost airlines were also named the safest in the world. These are in alphabetical order: Aer Lingus, Flybe, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia, Jetstar Asia, Thomas Cook, Virgin America, Vueling and Westjet.
“Unlike a number of low-cost carriers, these airlines have all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) which has over 1,000 audit items and have excellent safety records,” AirlineRatings said.