Hospitality Business Magazine

Air New Zealand crowned world’s safest airline

Air New Zealand has been crowned the world’s safest airline for 2024, pipping Qantas for the coveted top spot.

The global list has been compiled by travel information website Airline Ratings, and includes factors such as fatal accidents, major incidents, safety initiatives, governing body reports, profitability, pilot training and the age of airline fleets.

Qantas was previously number one but has been edged out for 2024 by Air New Zealand by “the narrowest margin” according to Airline Ratings’ editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Thomas.

Qantas trumped Air New Zealand by a similar margin in 2023.

“Safety margins between the top 25 airlines are very small,” says Thomas. “Air New Zealand excelled across the broad safety spectrum, never losing sight of the smallest detail. The airline operates in some of the most challenging weather environments, which tests pilot skills.

“For instance, Wellington is one of the windiest airports in the world, while Queenstown is a huge navigational challenge.”

When compiling the annual safety list, Airline Ratings overlooks factors beyond an airlines’ control, such as bird strikes, weather diversions, turbulence injuries and lightning strikes.

Airline Ratings’ top 25 safest airlines for 2024

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. Qantas
  3. Virgin Australia
  4. Etihad Airways
  5. Qatar Airways
  6. Emirates
  7. All Nippon Airways
  8. Finnair
  9. Cathay Pacific Airways
  10. Alaska Airlines
  11. SAS
  12. Korean Air
  13. Singapore Airlines
  14. EVA Air
  15. British Airways
  16. Turkish Airlines
  17. TAP Air Portugal
  18. Lufthansa/Swiss Group
  19. KLM
  20. Japan Airlines
  21. Hawaiian Airlines
  22. American Airlines
  23. Air France
  24. Air Canada Group
  25. United Airlines

Airline Ratings’ top 20 safest low-cost airlines for 2024

  1. Jetstar
  2. easyJet
  3. Ryanair
  4. Wizz Air
  5. Norwegian
  6. Frontier
  7. Vueling
  8. Vietjet
  9. Southwest
  10. Volaris
  11. Flydubai
  12. AirAsia Group (AirAsia, AirAsia X, AirAsia Thailand, AirAsia Philippines and AirAsia India)
  13. Cebu Pacific
  14. Sun Country
  15. Spirit
  16. Westjet
  17. JetBlue
  18. Air Arabia
  19. Indigo
  20. Eurowings