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Plus, the top ten safest budget airlines revealed

Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure  – January 24, 2019 | Updated March 4, 2019

Last year wasn’t exactly one for the history books for airline safety. In fact, it was one of the top 10 deadliest on record. But, that doesn’t mean flying is unsafe — it may just make you want to check out which airlines are the safest before you book your next flight.

On Thursday, AirlineRatings.com released its annual list of the world’s safest airlines. And once again, Australia’s Qantas Airlines came out as the clear winner.

To come to its conclusion, the website explained it considered a comprehensive range of factors that include: “audits from aviation’s governing and industry bodies; government audits; airline’s crash and serious incident record; profitability, industry-leading safety initiatives, and fleet age.”

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The ranking only took major incidents into account because, as AirlineRatings.com 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.”

Qantas, it explained, won out because it is both the world’s oldest continuously operating airline and maintains an “amazing record of firsts in operations and safety and is now accepted as the industry’s most experienced airline.”

It added that Qantas is first-in-class when it comes to employing technology to keep passengers safe. That includes its use of real-time monitoring of its engines across its fleet using satellite communications.

But, Qantas isn’t alone in its stellar service and safety. According to the site, the top 20 safest airlines for 2019 include: Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, and the Virgin group of airlines (Atlantic and Australia).

This year, the website also took its rankings one step further to include the top 10 safest low-cost airlines. That list includes Flybe, Frontier, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia / Asia, Thomas Cook, Volaris, Vueling, Westjet and Wizz.

Again, it’s crucial to note that flying — across any airline — is still the safest mode of transportation. But, it’s always good to know which airlines are at the top of their game.