These Are the World's Safest Airlines For 2020

Airplane landing at sunset. (Photo via imv/iStock/Getty Images)
Rich Thomaselli
by Rich Thomaselli
Last updated: 1:41 PM ET, Thu January 2, 2020

Airline Rankings

The airline safety and product review website has once again chosen its safest airlines, and there's no surprise who's at the top for 2020.

It is a list dominated by foreign carriers, and with the exception of the 2018 rankings - when could not find a clear-cut winner and rated the top 20 as one entity in alphabetical order - it is a list filled with familiar names. sifts through more than 400 airlines to narrow its list to the 20 safest. It takes into account a comprehensive range of factors that include audits from aviation's governing and industry bodies, government audits, airline's crash and serious incident record, profitability, industry-leading safety initiatives, and fleet age.

Here is the list for 2020.

20. KLM

The Dutch airline with its base in Amsterdam has a commitment to safety and to trying innovative ways of sustainability, recently committing to a biofuel purchase.

19. Aer Lingus

Ireland's national airline has always been proactive when it comes to safety, recently turning around a flight when the crew smelled something unusual in the cockpit.

18. Lufthansa

The German national carrier has been a mainstay on the list, but has upped its game in both the main airline and its subsidiary low-budget affiliates like Germanwings.

17. Finnair

Not only one of the oldest airlines in the world, but among the safest. Finnair has not had a fatal crash in 57 years.

16. SwissAir

SwissAir has made dozens of changes and helped initiate global changes after the 1998 crash of one of its planes in Nova Scotia, killing more than 200 onboard. In conjunction with regulators, tougher flammability tests are now the norm.

15. Royal Jordanian

A top-notch record. In fact, Royal Jordanian received a 7 out of 7 rating by on its scale of factors by which it judges carriers.

14. SAS

Scandanavia's legacy airline, SAS has put in a rigorous and ambitious safety plan to ensure it reaches the same level of expectation that the airline itself holds.

13. TAP Air Portugal

TAP Air Portugal has consistently been among Europe's safest airlines and, in fact, is the second-highest rated European airline on this year's list.

12. Virgin Atlantic

The first of two entries on the list for airlines run by Sir Richard Branson, and the highest-rated airline in Europe this year by safety standards.

11. Hawaiian Airlines

One of two U.S.-based carriers to make the list for 2020, Hawaiian Airlines has never had a fatal crash or loss of plane hull since its founding in 1929.

10. Virgin Australia

The second of Sir Richard Branson's babies to make the list. Also, one of two Australian airlines to be honored by

9. Cathay Pacific

The Hong Kong-based airline was hit with a safety warning by China back in August of 2019, but you can disregard it. It was politically motivated since one of C-P's pilots participated in a demonstration in Hong Kong.

8. Alaska Airlines

The highest-rated U.S.-based carrier to make the list for the second straight year. "Safety is our top priority and is firmly ingrained in our culture as we are personally committed to the safety of our guests and one another," Max Tidwell, Alaska Airlines vice president of safety and security, said last year.

7. Emirates

One of the safest in the world, without a crash in the 30 years the airline has been in existence.

6. Singapore Airlines

An favorite. Not only has Singapore been on this list, but last year it was also named the world's best airline overall by

5. Qatar Airways

Say what you want about the ongoing feud between U.S. and Middle East airlines, but all three major Gulf carriers made the safest list.

4. Etihad Airways

The third and final Middle East carrier to earn distinction on this list. Interesting note: Etihad has an on-board nurse on every flight.

3. EVA Air

"EVA" stands for Evergreen Airways. This airline is based at Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan and has a spotless safety record.

2. Air New Zealand

The ironic thing is that Air New Zealand is known for its epic and humorous on board safety videos. The flying public has no idea how serious the airline takes safety in practicality.

1. Qantas

In selecting Qantas as the world's safest airline for 2020, editors noted that over its 99-year history the world's oldest continuously operating airline has amassed a truly amazing record of firsts in operations and safety, and is now accepted as the industry's most experienced airline. rates the 20 safest airlines for 2020.

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Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

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Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me