Report ranks the world?s safest airlines

USA Today  2016-01-06 19:05:18

Qantas topped AirlineRatings.com?s list of the world's safest airlines for 2016. (Photo: Getty Images)Most travelers buy an airplane ticket based on price and schedule convenience.But before clicking the ?purchase? button, some fliers also take a moment to see where a chosen airline sits on AirlineRatings.com?s annual list of safety rankings.The organization?s 2016 report has just been published and it includes both a list of the world?s top 20 safest airlines and a list of the top 10 safest low-cost airlines.As it has in the past two years, in 2016 Australian carrier Qantas comes out on top of the 407 airlines the group monitors and evaluates. AirlineRatings.com noted that ?the world?s oldest continuously operating airline has amassed an extraordinary record of firsts in operations and safety,? including a fatality-free record.Domestic airlines in the top 20 list of safest airlines include American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines.Beyond Qantas, international top scorers include All Nippon Airways, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.The list of the top 10 safest low-cost airlines includes JetBlue, Virgin America, Westjet, Aer Lingus, Flybe, HK Express, Jetstar Australia, Thomas Cook, TUI Fly and Volaris.The recipe for AirlineRatings.com?s evaluations include information compiled from government audits and from government bodies and major associations in the aviation industry, as well as airline fatality records, incident records and operational history. More details about the safety rating process are here.Looking back at 2015, an AP story citing a Flightglobal tally notes that for the second year in a row the main cause of airline deaths worldwide was intentional acts, not accidents.161 passengers and crew members were lost in eight accidental crashes during 2015, while the intentional crash of a Germanwings airplane and the explosion of a Russian Metrojet aircraft took the lives of 374 people.Harriet Baskas is a Seattle-based airports and aviation writer and USA TODAY Travel's "At the Airport" columnist. She occasionally contributes to Ben Mutzabaugh's Today in the Sky blog. Follow her at twitter.com/hbaskas.Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1OOBOGL

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