World's safest airlines for 2020 named

Qantas has been named the world's safest airline for 2020 by a prominent aviation website, the seventh year in a row the Flying Kangaroo has received top billing.

AirlineRatings.com compiles an annual list of the world's safest airlines using 12 criteria including major safety incidents, the age of the fleet and the number of new aircraft, and the airline's profitability.

Its editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Thomas, has covered aviation for 45 years and developed the formula for assessing airline safety in 2013. Qantas has been No.1 every year.

"They are a standout airline amongst a group of very good airlines," Mr Thomas said. "One of the impressive things about Qantas is they have been the first or second adopters of every advancement in safety."

While Qantas received top rank, the news was not as positive for the airline's budget offshoot Jetstar, which was ruled ineligible because of its unresolved industrial dispute with its pilots.

The union representing Jetstar's pilots is at loggerheads with Qantas over pay negotiations. Jetstar claims the union's demands equate to a 15 per cent increase in pilot costs, but the union says it is only seeking a 3 per cent pay rise, with other conditions offset by productivity improvements.

"When you've got a union dispute between maintenance staff and management or between pilots and management, this in our view is a major distraction," Mr Thomas said.

A Qantas Group spokeswoman said: "Our safety reputation is a source of pride for everyone at Qantas and Jetstar."

Virgin Australia's budget subsidiary Tigerair was also not eligible as it does not participate in the voluntary audit the rankings are partially based on.

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"While a subsidiary of Virgin Australia and a great airline, Tigerair Australia in its own right has not done the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit," Mr Thomas said.

Virgin Australia was ranked 10th. Air New Zealand was second.

Nine airlines received the lowest ratings from the site, getting just one or two stars: Nok Air, AirAsia Thailand, Airlines PNG, Blue Wing, Ariana Afghan, Kam Air, Iraqi Airways, US-Bangla Airlines and Nepal Airlines. Thirteen others received three stars.

The airline repeatedly named among the world's worst in the past, North Korea's Air Koryo, has improved - it received six stars in the 2020 rankings.

World's safest airlines for 2020

1: Qantas

2: Air New Zealand

3: EVA Air

4: Etihad Airways

5: Qatar Airways

6: Singapore Airlines

7: Emirates

8: Alaska Airlines

9: Cathay Pacific

10: Virgin Australia

11: Hawaiian Airlines

12: Virgin Atlantic

13: TAP Air Portugal

14: SAS

15: Royal Jordanian

16: Swiss

17: Finnair

18: Lufthansa

19: Aer Lingus

20: KLM

See also: The world's most dangerous (and safest) places to visit next year

See also: The world's safest cities named as Sydney overtakes Melbourne

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