Post Banner Image
Tips

These Are the Safest Airlines To Fly in 2024

By Peter Vanden Bos
Read time: 5 minutes

Despite the fact that traveling by airplane is the safest mode of transportation out there, some travelers still, understandably, have a fear of flying. If you’re an anxious traveler, you might be curious to know which airlines have the best safety records (or even which section of the airplane could be considered the safest). Here are the safest airlines of 2024, according to the annual report from the aviation safety experts at AirlineRatings.com.

10. Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 taking off
Credit: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images News 

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines was the only U.S. carrier to land in the top 10 of the world’s safest airlines for 2024. The report from AirlineRatings.com analyzes factors such as recent serious or fatal accidents, audits from governing bodies such as the FAA, pilot training, fleet age, and airline safety practices. Given the rarity of serious incidents these days, however, “the safety margins between these top 25 airlines are very small,” according to the site’s editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas. (An important caveat: The 2024 report was published before the January 5 incident aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, in which the door plug of a Boeing 737 MAX 9 flew off shortly after takeoff from Portland International Airport.)

9. Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 on approach above treetops
Credit: Nicolas Economou/ NurPhoto via Getty Images

Cathay Pacific Airways, the flag carrier of Hong Kong, ranks as the world’s ninth-safest airline for 2024. The airline operates nonstop flights to five U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and New York, aboard a fleet of modern Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 aircraft. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, packs quite a culinary punch in its 427 square miles: There are more than 75 Michelin-starred restaurants, making this a great destination for foodies. 

8. Finnair

Finnair Airbus A350 taking off
Credit: Nicolas Economou/ NurPhoto via Getty Images

Finnair is the national airline of Finland, which ranks as the world’s happiest country for the seventh year in a row. Hop aboard one of their nonstop flights from cities such as Dallas or Miami to Helsinki to see what all the smiles are about in this Nordic nation. While there, be sure to take advantage of its prime location for viewing the northern lights or partake in its unique sauna culture — there are nearly two saunas for every three people in Finland. 

7. All Nippon Airways

Tails of All Nippon Airways (ANA) aircraft parked at their gates
Credit: RICHARD A. BROOKS/ AFP via Getty Images 

All Nippon Airways (simply known as ANA) is Japan’s largest airline. Operating a fleet of more than 200 aircraft, the Japanese airline has a stellar safety record — making it a great choice to visit Japan to witness epic cherry blossoms during spring or admire the temples and historic architecture in cities such as Kyoto, Japan’s former capital prior to Tokyo.

6. Emirates

Emirates Airbus A380 jumbo-jet taxiing on runway
Credit: John Davidson Photos/ Alamy Stock Photo

Emirates is one of the world’s largest airlines by passenger miles flown. The Dubai-based carrier also operates the world’s largest fleet of Airbus A380 jumbo jets, which is the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Emirates operates a large connecting hub in Dubai — one of the world’s busiest airports — but it’s worth visiting on its own (or even as a stopover) to admire the city’s stunning architecture, including the world’s tallest building

5. Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways Airbus A350 taking off with skyscrapers in background
Credit: Marcos del Mazo/ LightRocket via Getty Images 

Qatar Airways operates a major hub at Doha’s modern Hamad International Airport, recently named the world’s best airport. The airline flies to a dozen U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Boston, and San Francisco, with a fleet of modern Airbus and Boeing widebody aircraft. Despite its reputation as one of the world’s most upscale airlines, Qatar Airways recently made headlines by announcing it is eliminating first class, part of a growing trend among airlines. 

4. Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways Airbus A330 taking off
Credit: Markus Mainka/ Alamy Stock Photo

Another Middle East carrier landing on the list of the world’s safest airlines, Etihad Airways is based at Abu Dhabi’s stunning Zayed International Airport. Like Dubai, the airport handles huge volumes of passengers connecting from cities in Europe and North America to destinations in the Middle East, India, and Asia. It’s well worth spending a few days in the capital of the UAE, whose name is Arabic for “father of the gazelle.” 

3. Virgin Australia

Aerial view of Virgin Australia Boeing 777
Credit: SOPA Images/ LightRocket via Getty Images 

You’ll have to head Down Under to fly with the world’s third-safest airline. Brisbane-based Virgin Australia operates a fleet of Boeing 737s across Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. (Before the pandemic, the airline also flew a handful of long-haul routes with Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft, which have since been discontinued.) Virgin Australia was established in 2000, much more recently than others on this list, but it has proved itself with a stellar safety record over the past couple of decades. 

2. Qantas

Aerial view of Qantas Boeing 737s parked on runway
Credit: James D. Morgan via Getty Images News 

Qantas, on the other hand, is one of the world’s oldest airlines, having first flown in 1920. The Australian flag carrier operates to dozens of destinations around the world, including long-haul flights to six cities in the U.S. While in Australia, be sure to check out the iconic Sydney Opera House, the breathtaking Gold Coast, and the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef.

1. Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Boeing 777 on approach
Credit: Nicolas Economou/ NurPhoto via Getty Images

In 2024, Air New Zealand was named the world’s safest airline, taking over the top spot from last year’s winner, Qantas. AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas noted that the airline “has a firm focus on safety and its customers and has excelled across the broad safety spectrum, never losing sight of the smallest safety detail.” That’s even true despite operating a hub in Wellington, one of the world’s windiest cities. You can relax comfortably when you fly the airline to visit New Zealand’s famous natural sights, including the Waitomo Caves and the breathtaking fjords of the South Island.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Email

Featured Stories

5 of the Most Lavish Hotel Breakfasts in the U.S.

Tips

5 of America’s Oldest Baseball Stadiums

History

What the Data Says About the Best Times to Book Flights

Tips

What Is Airplane Mode — and Why Do You Need to Use It While Flying?

Tips