Qantas listed as world’s safest airline
When it comes to technological and safety advancements in the aviation industry, Qantas has always come out in the lead, and this year is no different with AirlineRatings announcing Qantas as the world’s safest airline.
By searching through audits completed by government authorities, airline incident records, fleet ages and profitability, the website is able to sort through 405 airlines around the world and put them in order.
The safety record Qantas has held over its 98 year history has outlined the airline as the industry’s most experienced. Additionally, Qantas’ low-cost arm, Jetstar, was placed at the top position for safest low-cost airline of the year.
Over the last 60 years, which is the time in which Qantas has operated jet-powered aircraft, no hull losses or fatalities have been recorded.
Editor-in-chief for AirlineRatings, Geoffrey Thomas, reflected on Qantas’ achievement in the following statement:
“It is extraordinary that Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years and has not had a fatality in the jet era.”
Jumping back to technological and safety advancements the airline has pioneered, the use of automatic landings using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) as well as performing approaches through mountainous areas in cloud cover using a new landing system developed by the airline called GPS Landing System (GLS) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP).
These landing systems allow for efficient, accurate and complex approaches in various weather conditions. Additionally, smoother approach paths which are curvier and comfortable for passengers can be followed by the aircraft.
Prevention of accidents and incidents has benefited Qantas and many other airlines greatly, with Qantas being a heavy user of satellite engine monitoring, allowing for any hiccups to be spotted on the ground before anything major happens in the air. This technology allows for maintenance crews around the world to monitor engines in the air and contact the pilots with a remedial action before something larger occurs.
Qantas’ launch of direct flights from Perth to London and back were a major step forward for the airline, highlighting the beginning of their dreams to fly non-stop from Australia’s east coast to Europe and parts of America using an Airbus A350 or Boeing 777x aircraft in the future. The flight alone, operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, has only suffered from one major technical disruption over the last nine months.
With Qantas clearly in the hall of fame, it’s important not to ignore the other high achievers. The following list contains the top 20 achievers for this years rating:
- Air New Zealand
- Alaska Airlines
- All Nippon Airways
- American Airlines
- Austrian Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- EVA Air
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Scandinavian Airline System (SAS)
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Australia and Atlantic
Looking further at low-cost airlines, Jetstar remains at the top, however this list contains the top 10 achievers:
- HK Express
- Jetstar Australia and Asia
- Thomas Cook
Unfortunately, its evident airlines in some regions around the world aren’t as high up on the scale, primarily due to political/geographical issues impacting on operations, safety and overall aviation laws. Despite this, an effort has been made by the airlines, however without adequate support, their ratings simply cannot match those of large, internationally recognized carriers.
The following are the five worst airlines for safety:
- Ariana Afghan Airlines
- Blue Wing Airlines
- Kam Air
- Tara Air
- Trigana Air Service
On the topic of world’s safest airlines, the overall 2018 aviation safety record was as shocker compared to previous years. Fatalities on passenger aircraft worldwide reached a figure of 543 across 14 fatal accidents – six of which being large aircraft.
Comparing this to 2017, where only 56 people died across 12 accidents, 2018 was a year of many questions for authorities around the world. The most pronounced crash of 2018 was the loss of Lion Air JT610 – a 2-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 that plunged into the sea.
Investigations are ongoing, however its been announced that the search for the cockpit voice recorder has been called off.
Despite these results from 2018 and the list of the safest airlines, its worth remembering that air travel is still the safest form of travel. Whether your airline made it in the top 20 or even top 50, the chances of anything causing a fatality is extremely low.
No matter what airline or region around the world, aviation is a special subject where an accident will build improvements and shape further safety around the world.