These Are the Safest Airlines in the World for 2022

Finnair airplane
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For some travelers, the age of glamour in the sky is long gone. Factor in today's airline-specific flight restrictions and health protocols, and flying can be not only a hassle but downright scary. Still, for others who can afford perks like lie-flat beds, onboard showers, or, better yet, a share in a private jet company like NetJets, flying has never been better. In all cases, it's easy to forget that the primary function of an airline is simple and even existential: Getting passengers safely from point A to point B. With this in mind, it's nice to know what airline companies truly have the safest rating before booking your flight.

To help you ease your mind, we've compiled recent data collected from AirlineRatings.com, which just revealed the safest airlines in the world for 2022.

The Safest Airlines in 2022

Many of the carriers that make the "safest airlines" list, aside from Alaska Airlines, offer international travel packages to faraway destinations. The planes are big, the service superb, and the chance that you'll arrive both healthy and in one piece is pretty much guaranteed. According to reports from AirlineRatings.com in 2022, these are the world's 20 safest airlines:

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

The Safest Low-Cost Airlines in 2022

Just because an airline is elegant and high-class doesn't mean it's any more likely to get you to your destination alive and well. Below are the world's 10 safest low-cost airlines, in alphabetical order:

  1. Allegiant
  2. easyjet
  3. Frontier
  4. Jetstar Group
  5. Jetblue
  6. Ryanair
  7. Vietjet
  8. Volaris
  9. Westjet
  10. Wizz

How Airline Safety Ratings Work

According to AirlineRatings.com, it monitors 385 airlines, with the safety rating for each based on "a comprehensive range of factors that include: airline's crash over five years and serious incident record over two years, audits from aviation's governing and industry bodies, government audits, industry-leading safety initiatives, fleet ages, and COVID-19 safety protocols." Each airline has the potential to earn seven stars in its ranking.

In 2022, Air New Zealand was notable for "[operating] in some of the most challenging weather conditions and remote environments" and implementing safety measures like the Future Air Navigation System, which serves to improve communication between the pilot and air traffic control. It was also the first airline to require domestic travelers to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before boarding.

"Air New Zealand is a stand-out airline with a firm focus on safety and its customers, and over the past 18 months, COVID-19 has brought another new dimension to the challenges the industry faces," said AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas. "Air New Zealand has excelled across the broad safety spectrum, never losing sight of the smallest detail while caring for its flight crews who have worked under significant stress."

Other Airline Safety Authorities

  • Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JADEC): This German organization has rightfully earned its place as the barometer by which the world's safest airlines are measured. JADEC factors in three main categories that have an impact on risk factors. These include aircraft accidents and incidents—both major ones involving fatalities and minor ones, as simple as skidding off the runway, environmental factors like weather and terrain, and airline operational factors such as fleet age and route profiles.
  • Airlines for America: This U.S.-based non-profit organization, which lobbies and consults with members of Congress to pass laws that benefit air travelers, uses data from the National Safety Council to assemble an annual safety record for U.S. air carriers. Like AirlineRatings.com, Airlines for America does not exclusively focus on safety and has interests in various areas of air travel, including transparency in pricing and the effect of airline mergers in the competitive landscape.
  • SkyTrax: SkyTrax is an international air transport rating organization based in London. This entity analyzes over 190 safety and hygiene protocols, including customer and staff safety, standards of social distancing, the efficacy of cleaning systems both in the airport and onboard, and appropriate measures to enhance hygiene protection, like face mask usage. They categorize airlines with three different types of ratings: a five-star (excellent), a four-star (good), and a three-star (average) rating. You can sign up for frequent updates through SkyTrax to make sure your preferred airline is up to snuff before you travel.

One thing you should keep in mind, regardless of how each year's list shapes up, is that air travel is still the safest way to travel anywhere in the world. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), your odds of dying in an airplane crash, based on stats collected in 2019, were "too few to calculate." In contrast, the same organization cited a one in 107 chance you could die in a motor vehicle accident. So, even when taking "dangerous" airlines into account, flying is still the safest way to go.

Article Sources
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  1. AirlineRatings.com. "Air New Zealand the World's Safest Airline for 2022." January 5, 2022.

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