Qantas Airways, an Australian carrier, has earned the distinction of being the safest airline in the world after going without a fatal crash since 1951.
The airline topped the list of AirlineRatings.com’s top 10 safest airlines of 2013 among the 448 that the safety and product rating website monitors.
The top 10 airlines earned seven stars for safety and in-flight products, the highest any airline can get.
The remaining airlines in the top 10 in alphabetical order are: Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Royal Jordanian, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
No U.S. airlines cracked the top 10.
AirlineRatings.com takes into account several factors when coming up with its list, including audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations as well as government audits and the airline’s fatality record.
The top 10 weren’t the only airlines to get seven stars for safety. In fact, 137 airlines earned those marks. But almost 50 got three stars or less.
AirlineRatings.com points out that Qantas has had an impressive record of firsts in safety and operations in its 93-year history.
It was the first international airline to operate around-the-world service with its Lockheed Super Constellations in 1958. It was also the first to take delivery of the Boeing 707 outside the USA in 1959.
The carrier was also a leader in using the Flight Data Recorder to monitor plane and crew performance in 1962, according to the website.
AirlineRatings.com says that 2013 was the safest year for flying since 1945, with 269 deaths from 29 accidents.
That’s well below the 10-year average of 32 accidents and 719 fatalities, according to the Aviation Safety Network.
The worst accident was the Nov. 17 crash of a Tatarstan Boeing 737-500 from Moscow to Kazan, which killed all 44 passengers and six crew aboard.
The most miraculous escape, AirlineRatings.com says, was the Asiana crash at San Francisco International Airport in July. Three passengers died when the Boeing 777 hit the runway sea wall and flipped over.
Date Aircraft Airline Fatalities Location
Jan 29 CRJ SCAT 21 Almaty Airport. Kazakhstan
July 7 DHC-3T Turbine Otter Rediske Air 10 Soldotna Airport, USA
Oct 3 Embraer Brasilia Associated 16 Lagos, Nigeria
Oct 14 Cessna 208B AereoServicio 14 Loreto Airport. Mexico
Oct 16 ATR-72-212A Lao Airlines 49 Pakse Airport, Laos
Nov 17 Boeing 737 Tatarstan 50 Kazan Airport. Russia
Nov 29 Embraer ERJ 190 LAM 33 Bwabwata NP Zambia
Lowest Ranked Airlines
Ten Best Airlines *
Air New Zealand
All Nippon Airways
* Rated seven stars for safety and product.