When you’re planning a trip, you want to know you’re in safe hands while you fly. A few airlines consistently come out on top when it comes to safety standards. Whether you’re going long-haul or looking for a low-cost carrier for an impromptu vacation, look into airlines that feature strong safety records.

Cathay Pacific

If you’re searching for a great long-haul airline, Cathay Pacific is one of the safest airlines to fly. The airline can boast about its ranking as AirlineRatings.com’s best Asia-Pacific region long-haul carrier, but it’s not only the service that’s great on this airline. Cathay Pacific also ranks highly when it comes to safety. Besides terrorist attacks, the airline hasn’t experienced a fatal accident since the 1960s.

Airlines Based in the U.S.

For travelers who fly on the United States’ West Coast, Alaska Airlines has been a mainstay of good service and safety. This Seattle-based airline recently acquired Virgin America, giving passengers even more options to find a great deal on flights. Alaska Airlines hasn’t suffered a fatal crash since 2000.

Delta Air Lines, an Atlanta-based carrier, ranks as the second-largest airline in the world. The size of the carrier doesn’t mean it skimps on safety, though. Delta’s fleet of over 800 mainline planes hasn’t experienced a fatal accident in more than two decades.

Low-Cost Carriers

Vueling and WestJet, to name only a couple, are some of the safest airlines when it comes to low-cost carriers. These rank in the top 10 of the safest low-cost airlines. Many budget carriers don’t pass the International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (or IOSA), which holds airlines to 1,000 stringent audit items, but these low-cost carriers do. They bring travelers to their destinations with their great safety records, proving you don’t have to sacrifice safety when you’re looking for a good deal.


This Australian airline consistently takes home prizes as the safest airline to fly. Qantas has developed its reputation on its clean safety record. The airline, which has been around for nearly 100 years, hasn’t had a fatal crash since 1951. In other words, Qantas boasts a fatality-free record in the jet era.

The world’s oldest continuously operating airline has accumulated a stellar record of firsts in safety and operations. The British Advertising Standards Association even recognizes it as the most experienced carrier in the airline industry. The airline has led the way in developments like the Future Air Navigation System, the Global Navigation Satellite System for automatic landings, the Flight Data Recorder, and precision approaches in clouds around mountains.

That’s not all. Qantas is also the lead airline when it comes to using satellite communications for real-time monitoring of engines. This allows the airline to pinpoint potential problems before they turn into major safety issues. It’s no wonder Qantas tops airline safety lists year after year.

Qantas is certainly a mainstay on lists of safest airlines, but you’ll find great choices no matter if you’re flying a long way or regionally. Look for airlines that score highly when it comes to safety next time you’re booking a flight.