what are the safest airlines

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What are the safest airlines in 2022?

During the pandemic in 2019, the world saw a halt in the availability and accessibility of flights with a decrease of approximately 41% according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Since then, a return to ‘normalcy’ is on a steady rise with more people getting back to regular air travel. 

Airline safety and customer satisfaction are based on longitudinal data, airline records, and survey responses from thousands of travelers. AirlineRatings.com is an established agency, known for its selective criteria in ranking airlines based on “airline’s crash over 5 years and serious incident record over two years, audits from aviation’s governing and industry bodies, government audits, industry-leading safety initiatives, fleet age, and COVID-19 safety protocols.” 

For those that had a preexisting fear of flying, this added stressor could make an upcoming journey all the more anxiety-provoking. Throughout this article, we take a look at the top three airlines in the world and in the U.S. as of 2022, which are based on customer satisfaction ratings and incident records. 

The safest airlines in the world

Air New Zealand 

This airline ranked number one in incident records, customer satisfaction, and COVID-19 protocols, according to Euronews and CNN. Air New Zealand has maintained an excellent commitment to the safety of its passengers through COVID protocols and its outstanding incident record. 

Qatar Airways

This airline may debatably be tied for number one as it won the ‘Airline of the Year 2022’ award. According to AirlineRatings.com, “airlines must achieve a seven-star safety rating and demonstrate leadership in innovation for passenger comfort.” Forbes recommended the many luxurious amenities and exceptional quality the airline provides, easing the stress of an upcoming journey. 

Etihad Airways

Ranked number three, Etihad Airways was the winner of the ‘Best Environmental Airlines Award for its leadership in the 787 Greenliner program’. Customer satisfaction fell around 8.2/10 as per frequent travelers. This airline has maintained a perfect safety record in its 17 years of operation. 

Singapore Airlines

Making it to number 4, Singapore Airlines was recognized for upholding safety protocols and was awarded the Best Airline Cabin Crew award for 2022. With a fleet of over 180 and a network of over 110 destinations, this airline was deemed a 5-star airline in safety pertaining to COVID-19 protocol and general airline safety in 2021. 

TAP Air Portugal

Making it into the top five, TAP Air Portugal has an excellent safety record along with a young fleet. The editor-in-chief of AirlineRatings.com stated, “TAP Portugal has become a benchmark for airline safety and its COVID protocols are industry-leading.” 

The safest airlines in the U.S. 

Delta Airlines

Coming at number 1, Delta airlines maintains its top spot since 2021 along with its top three ranking in all seat classes according to Forbes. They were also awarded the Best Airline in North America at the Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Southwest Airlines

Earning a 7-star airline global rating in 2021, Southwest Airlines has an impeccable safety record with low incident rates. The editor-in-chief of AirlineRatings.com stated, “With Southwest, we found an extremely low incident rate and virtually none attributable to pilots.” Along with customer satisfaction, the airline ranked within the top 20 safest airlines in the U.S. since 2021. 

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United Airlines

In third place, United Airlines has a 7/7 safety rating in general airline safety and COVID-19 protocol according to AirlineRating.com. They were also recognized for their wide network reach and excellent customer satisfaction ratings.  

American Airlines

Recognized for its affordability, family atmosphere, and network coverage, American Airlines was ranked number four in the world's best airlines list. They received a 7/7 rating in overall safety, with a 6/7 rating for COVID safety protocols. 

Alaska Airlines

Ranking in the top five, and not far behind, Alaska airlines was recognized for overall customer satisfaction. The airline has had a longstanding reputation for its in-flight experience and has a 7/7 overall safety rating according to AirlineRatings.com. 


Written by
Shenella Karunaratne, Staff Writer

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