The value and need for safe airlines has increased, now more than ever. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a significant decline in air travel across the globe. Now, with the Omicron variant wreaking havoc in most countries, this slump is likely to continue in 2022 as well.
As such, along with factors like age of aircraft, crash and serious incidents, Covid-19 protocols has also become a major indicator in determining an airline’s safety. This has been reflected in some significant changes seen in the list of the world’s safest airlines for 2022 by AirlineRatings.com, airline safety and product review website.
The website, which has monitored 385 airlines from across the world, has declared Air New Zealand the safest airline in the world.
“Air New Zealand is a stand-out airline with a firm focus on safety and its customers and over the past 18 months, COVID-19 has brought another new dimension to the challenges the industry faces,” according to Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief, AirlineRatings.com
“Air New Zealand has excelled across the broad safety spectrum never losing sight of the smallest detail while caring for its flight crews who have worked under significant stress,” he added.
Accepting the title, Air New Zealand’s chief executive Greg Foran said, “Throughout the pandemic, the whole Air New Zealand team has been focused on protecting the health and safety of our people, customers, and the wider New Zealand community. We were the first airline in the world to ask our customers flying on our domestic services to either be vaccinated or tested before boarding and come 1 February, will require all customers on our international services to be fully vaccinated too.”
Air New Zealand is followed by Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways to occupy second and third positions respectively.
Qantas, which held the title of the world’s safest airline from 2014 to 2017 and from 2019 to 2021, has slipped to the seventh position due to an incident at Perth airport in 2018. “The report into that complex and serious incident was not issued till late 2020, and too late to be included in our 2021 safety rankings,” the rating portal noted.
Here’s the list of the top 20 safest airlines in the world
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/Atlantic
11. Cathay Pacific Airways
12. Hawaiian Airlines
13. American Airlines
14. Lufthansa/Swiss Group
16. Air France/KLM Group
17. British Airways
18. Delta Air Lines
19. United Airlines
AirLineRatings.com also identified the world’s top 10 safest low-cost airlines. In alphabetical order, they are Allegiant, Easyjet, Frontier, Jetstar Group, Jetblue, Ryanair, Vietjet, Volaris, Westjet and Wizz.
According to Thomas, when it came to safety incidents, the editors only looked at ones in making its determination.
“All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems,” he said. “It is the way the flight crew handles incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one.”