MIAMI – Like every year, there are many planes of many airlines that take tourists and workers around the world. Lo and behold, Airlinesrating.com has released its list of the safest airlines for 2021.

The ratings site keeps tabs on 385 carriers from across the globe, measuring factors including the airlines’ crash and serious incident records, and age of their aircraft.

Qantas Boeing 747-436. Photo: Luca Flores/AW

Statement from Airline Ratings Editor-in-chief


Geoffrey Thomas, AirlineRatings editor-in-chief, said, “The challenge this year was the number of airlines that were flying, although our Top 20 safest airlines have all continued to fly or had limited cessation of flights.”

“Over the past two years we have become aware that some airlines, which had passed bi-annual safety audits, were not on a day-to-day basis following the operational disciplines required by the auditors.”

“Accidents and incidents make up five of our seven star rating with audits accounting for one and Covid-19 compliance the final star for a maximum seven-star ranking. They are not taking anything for granted and our inquiry level has tripled over the past six months on a variety of safety issues, not just Covid-19.”

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Photo: Nick Sheeder/AW

Winning Streak


Qantas (QF) was a winner from 2014 to 2017. In 2018, according to the site, it was unclear who could take the top spot. But, once again, in 2019 and 2020, QF won again.

For 2021, the website has ranked each of the top 20 airlines in numerical order. QR takes the number two spot, while Air New Zealand (NZ), Singapore Airlines (SQ) and Emirates (EK) round out the top five.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 taxiing via Hotel Malpensa Airport (MXP) Photo: Andrea Ongaro

AirlineRatings.com’s Safest Airlines for 2021


  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 Airways
  10. British Airways
  11. Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic
  12. Hawaiian Airlines
  13. Southwest Airlines
  14. Delta Air Lines
  15. American Airlines
  16. SAS
  17. Finnair
  18. Lufthansa
  19. KLM
  20. United Airlines
Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300ER Photo: Luca Flores/AW

AirlineRatings Safest Low Cost Airlines


Separately, the ratings site also spotlighted the safest low cost airlines, listing the top 10 in alphabetical order:

  • Air Arabia
  • Allegiant
  • EasyJet
  • Frontier
  • Jetstar Group
  • Jetblue
  • Ryanair
  • Vietjet
  • Westjet
  • Wizz Air

Additionally, the website has also produced a separate index of the top 20 COVID-compliant airlines, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Air Baltic
  • Air New Zealand
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airways
  • AirAsia
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Eva Air
  • Japan Airlines
  • Jetblue
  • KLM
  • Korean Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest
  • Qatar Airways
  • Westjet

Featured image: Qantas Boeing 787-9. Photo: Nick Sheeder/Airways