Qantas named safest airline in the world; SIA in sixth place

Qantas Airways topped a list of safest airlines in the world published by AirlineRatings, followed by Air New Zealand and Taiwan's Eva Airways. AirlineRatings said it takes into account factors including audits by governing and industry bodies, crash
Qantas Airways topped a list of safest airlines in the world published by AirlineRatings, followed by Air New Zealand and Taiwan's Eva Airways.PHOTO: REUTERS

The world's safest and most punctual airlines are in the Asia-Pacific region. Qantas Airways was named the safest airline in the world on a top 20 list published by AirlineRatings.com, followed by Air New Zealand and Taiwan's Eva Airways.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) was sixth, Cathay Pacific Airways was ninth and Virgin Australia was 10th.

AirlineRatings.com said it takes into account factors including audits by governing and industry bodies, crash and serious incident record, profitability and fleet age.

Separately, the Aviation Safety Network said earlier this week that the number of fatal aviation accidents last year rose above the five-year average to 20, with more than half occurring in North America.

The 20 crashes killed 283 people, with the bulk of the deaths coming from the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March last year, when a Boeing 737 Max jet plunged into the ground shortly after take-off, killing all 157 people on board. That led to the global grounding of the jet.

Last year's total included 11 accidents in North America, compared with just one in that region in 2018 and three in 2017, said the Aviation Safety Network. There were 15 accidents worldwide in 2018.

Still, based on the number of overall fatalities, last year was the third-safest year ever, the network said. The five-year average is 14 accidents and 480 fatalities, the Netherlands-based organisation said.

Last year's figures suggest one fatal accident per almost two million flights, it said. The organisation's statistics are for civil aircraft certified to carry 14 or more passengers.

Five of the accidents in North America last year occurred in rugged parts of Alaska and Canada, the organisation said.

"Despite progress made through various safety initiatives by Canadian and US regulators, this still is an area of concern," it said.

In a separate survey by OAG Aviation Worldwide, Garuda Indonesia was crowned last year's most punctual carrier. Panama's Copa Airlines ranked second among airlines arriving or departing within 15 minutes of scheduled times. Skymark Airlines of Japan, Hawaiian Airlines and Latam Airlines Group rounded out the top five.

 
 
 
 

Among major US carriers, Delta Air Lines was the only one to make it into the top 20.

The number of global air passengers will double to 8.2 billion by 2037, thanks to economic growth and a swelling middle class, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Over half of those fliers will come from the Asia-Pacific region, led by demand from countries like China and India. About 4.7 billion people are expected to travel this year, 4 per cent more than last year, IATA said last month.

Among mega airports ranked by OAG - those catering to more than 30 million airline seats - Moscow's Sheremetyevo topped the list for the best on-time performance last year.

The ranking is based on the proportion of flights at each airport that arrive and leave within 15 minutes of scheduled times.

In contrast to US airlines' poor showing, US airports were top performers for punctuality. Six of the top 10 on-time airports were American, with Atlanta in fourth, Seattle in fifth and Los Angeles in seventh.

New York's John F. Kennedy airport entered the top 10. Bangkok and Amsterdam dropped out.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2020, with the headline 'Qantas named safest airline in the world; SIA in sixth place'. Print Edition | Subscribe