Emirates, Etihad Among Safest Airlines in the World: Study

Published January 9th, 2018 - 09:05 GMT
Emirates, Etihad and Royal Jordanian airlines all made it to the top 20 safest airlines for 2018. (Courtesy of Airbus)
Emirates, Etihad and Royal Jordanian airlines all made it to the top 20 safest airlines for 2018. (Courtesy of Airbus)

Emirates and Etihad Airways have been named among the safest airlines on earth, according to an annual study of the world’s biggest airlines.

According to AirlineRatings, the two UAE-based carriers are among the “who’s who” in the aviation industry for 2018 and are leading the charge in terms of safety, innovation and fleet expansion. They’re the only Gulf carriers to make it into the top 20.


The aircraft safety and product rating site has reviewed more than 400 carriers and rated each of them based on crash data, as well as information and audits from governments and regulatory bodies in the aviation industry.

Between 2014 and 2017, the rating site singled out Qantas as the safest in the world, but this time, it has opted to rank the top 20 carriers equally.

The rest of the 20 safest airlines for 2018, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Air New Zealand
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airways
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Qantas
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • Scandinavian Airline System
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia


AirlineRatings editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said the 20 airlines are “standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation and launching of new aircraft.”

“For instance, Australia’s Qantas has been recognised by the British Advertising Standards Association in a test case as the world’s most experienced airline.”

"Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years and has not had a fatality in the jet era,” said Thomas. “But Qantas is not alone. Long established airlines such as Hawaiian and Finnair have perfect records in the jet era.”


AirlineRatings rated each airline up to seven stars for safety, and both Etihad and Emirates were given the highest rating. They also earned top marks for maintaining a fatality-free record for the past ten years and meeting the  standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, IATA Operational Safety Audit, among others.


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