The Australian flag carrier, Qantas, has been selected the world's safest airline by AirlineRatings.com for the third consecutive year. The website has announced its top 20 safest airlines for 2016 from the 407 it monitors.
Making up the top 20 in alphabetical order are: Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.
AirlineRatings.com does not numerically rank its safest airlines as they are so close in operational safety but selects one overall standout airline.
Responding to public interest, the AirlineRatings.com editors also identified their top ten safest low cost airlines.
These are in alphabetical order: Aer Lingus, Flybe, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia, Thomas Cook, TUI Fly, Virgin America, Volaris and Westjet.
AirlineRatings.com's rating system takes into account a variety of factors related to audits from aviation's governing bodies and lead associations as well as government audits and the airline's crash record.
AirlineRating.com's editorial team, one of the world's most awarded and experienced, also examined each airline's operational history, incident records and operational excellence to arrive at its top 20 safest airlines.
According to AirlineRatings.com editor, Geoffrey Thomas, "our top safest airlines are always at the forefront of safety innovation, operational excellence and the launching of new more advanced aircraft."
"These airlines are always at the forefront for excellence in the safety space," he added.
"However there is no question amongst the editors that Qantas remains a standout in safety enhancements and best practice," said Mr Thomas.
Over its 95-year history Qantas has amassed an extraordinary record of firsts in safety and operations and is now accepted as the world's most experienced airline.
"It is extraordinary that Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years," said Mr Thomas. Of the 407 airlines surveyed 148 have the top seven-star safety ranking, but almost 50 have just three stars or less.
There are 10 airlines with only one star and these airlines are from Indonesia, Nepal and Surinam.