Safest Airlines: Reduce Your Travel Risks

Global EAT: Safest Airlines: These Carriers Lessen Your Travel Risks?
Since 2019, Air New Zealand has been rated among the top three safest airlines in the world. (Photo credit: Daniel Norris/

Safest airlines to travel around the world in 2023, and how they were rated.  Would the home country of an airline influence its safety and security rating?

Safety is aviation’s highest priority, cited the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  It is the “foundation that underpins the way the airline business is run,” quoted the National Airlines Council of Canada website.

The top 20 safest airlines for 2023 were chosen from 385 different airlines that monitors.  According to the editors, they were analyzed based on:

  • Crashes over five years
  • Serious incidents over two years
  • Audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations
  • Fleet age, expert analysis of pilot training
  • COVID protocols

The above are key factors to help reduce your travel risks while in the air and on land. editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas is quoted saying, “our Top Twenty Safest Airlines are all standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation, and launching of new aircraft.”  Thomas said the “margins between these top twenty airlines are very small, they are all outstanding airlines.”

Top 20 Safest International Airlines in Numerical Order and 2022 Comparison

Ranking 2023 2022
1. Qantas Air New Zealand
2. Air New Zealand Etihad Airways
3. Etihad Airways Qatar Airways
4. Qatar Airways Singapore Airlines
5. Singapore Airlines TAP Air Portugal
6. TAP Air Portugal SAS
7. Emirates Qantas
8. Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines
9. EVA Air EVA Air
10. Virgin Australia/Atlantic Virgin Australia/Atlantic
11. Cathay Pacific Airways Cathay Pacific Airways
12. Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Airlines
13. SAS American Airlines
14. United Airlines Lufthansa
15. Lufthansa/Swiss Group Finnair
16. Finnair Air France/KLM
17. British Airways British Airways
18. KLM Delta Air Lines
19. American Airlines United Airlines
20. Delta Air Lines Emirates

Related:  2021 Safest Airlines: American carriers make a comeback

Qantas Airways recaptured their top spot this year after losing several spots to its competitors in 2022.  Qantas was chosen because of its 100-year operational history as the world’s oldest continuously operating airline.

It also has an “amazing record of firsts in operations and safety”, which is now “accepted as the industry’s most experienced airline”.

American Airlines made the top 20 list this year.  Alaska Airlines, EVA Air, Virgin Australia/Atlantic, Cathay Pacific Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and British Airways retained their spots for 2022 and 2023.

Top Ten Safest Low Cost Carriers in Alphabetical Order

Southwest Airlines launched the low cost airline concept in the 1970s.  Since then, the growth of no frills, low cost airlines has skyrocketed, especially in last two decades on short-haul routes.

With greater demand for budget travel for the masses, low cost carriers are embarking on bold ventures to more established and longer haul routes.

Global EAT: Safest Airlines: These Carriers Lessen Your Travel Risks?
In December 2022, AirAsia Aviation Group expanded their business to establish AirAsia Cambodia. The expansion provided the carrier with more access to the Cambodian market and connectivity to the international markets across Asean, North Asia and beyond. (Photo Credit: Arivaran/

The top ten safest low cost airlines, in alphabetical order:

  • Air Arabia
  • AirAsia Group
  • Allegiant
  • Air Baltic
  • easyjet
  • FlyDubai
  • Frontier
  • Jetstar Group
  • Jetblue
  • Indigo
  • Ryanair
  • Scoot
  • Southwest
  • Spicejet
  • Spirit
  • Vueling
  • Vietjet
  • Volaris
  • Westjet
  • Wizz

Airline’s Country of Origin and Influence on Traveller’s Choice

Passenger safety begins even before boarding an aircraft.  It starts the moment a passenger arrives at the airport to check in.  Security and perception of the airline’s home country does influence the traveller’s choice of air carrier.

An airline with the latest fleet, best mechanics and preventative maintenance practices is not necessary the safest airline in the world, cited Travel Security Handbook author, Sven Leidel.

“The country of origin often contributes to the safety, or at least the perception of security, for the airline.”  Leidel cited El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. as an example.

Even though many may not like Israel, they consider the national flag carrier to be the safest airline in the world.  El Al “has some of the most stringent passenger, baggage and maintenance screening requirements of any airline in the world.”

Some of the most risky airlines to travel with are those national air carriers of many undeveloped countries.  These airlines often do not meet international aviation safety standards, particularly some of the African based carriers.

Naturally, personal convenience, comfort and budget should be considered along with an airline’s safety and security practices.  This may include seat type and location, cabin service, onboard meals and entertainment, transit time and connectivity to final destinations.