Only one U.S. airline cracked the list of the 10 safest carriers in 2021 - CNBC

Discussions around the safety of flying are now dominated by the global pandemic, but the “Top Twenty Safest Airlines 2021” list compiled by airline website AirlineRatings.com doesn’t have anything to do with Covid-19.

Released this week, the list analyzes crash records and safety compliance to highlight airlines that it claims are leading air travel safety.  

The top 10 list

AirlineRatings.com analyzed crash and serious incident histories, fleet ages, and audits of 385 airlines performed by governments and aviation associations.

It used that analysis to name the 10 safest airlines for 2021 as:

1. Qantas
2. Qatar Airways
3. Air New Zealand
4. Singapore Airlines
5. Emirates
6. Eva Air
7. Etihad Airways
8. Alaska Airlines
9. Cathay Pacific
10. British Airways

Qantas, Australia’s flag carrier, was named the world’s safest airline for the third year in a row by the website.

Qantas holds the distinction of being the only airline that Dustin Hoffman’s character in the 1988 movie “Rain Man” would fly because it had “never crashed.” The airline suffered fatal crashes of small aircraft prior to 1951, but has had no fatalities in the 70 years since.  

Qantas has had no passenger fatalities since the dawn of the “jet era” in the 1950s.

Scott Barbour | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“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 pure jet era,” said Geoffrey Thomas, the website’s editor-in-chief. “But Qantas is not alone. Long established airlines such as Hawaiian and Finnair have perfect records in the jet era.”

In addition to Air New Zealand and British Airways, the remainder of the list is dominated by the “Middle East Three” — as Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways are collectively known —
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