The World's Safest Airlines In 2023 Were Ranked & These Low-Cost Carriers Received Top Marks

Several US & Canadian airlines made the list!

People boarding a plane. Right: The interior of a WestJet plane.
Associate Editor

People boarding a plane. Right: The interior of a WestJet plane.

If air travel makes you nervous, you can rest easy by booking your next vacation with one of the world's safest airlines for 2023 — and there's even a low-cost list for those looking to fly on a budget.

AirlineRatings, a website that focuses on safety, product and COVID-19 ratings, just released its annual ranking of the safest airlines in the world, and there are some great options available no matter where you're going in the world this year.

The website ranked Australia-based Qantas as the world's safest airline for 2023, bumping it up over last year's winner, Air New Zealand, by a only slight margin.

AirlineRatings says it ranks the list based on many factors, including serious incidents, fatal accidents, audits from aviation's governing and industry bodies, profitability and fleet age.

Editors noted that Qantas "has amassed an amazing record of firsts in operations and safety" over its 100-year history, and "is now accepted as the industry’s most experienced airline."

The website highlighted that Qantas "was the lead airline with real-time monitoring of its engines using satellite communications." This means the airline was able to notice and handle problems before they became major safety hazards.

Other airlines making the top 20 list included Air New Zealand, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa and American Airlines.

The editor-in-chief of AirlineRatings, Geoffrey Thomas, says all the airlines on the list are standouts in the industry and are "at the forefront of safety, innovation, and launching of new aircraft.”

“In fact, the margins between these top twenty airlines are very small, they are all outstanding airlines,” he said.

Here is the full list of the top 20 safest airlines of 2023:

  1. Qantas
  2. Air New Zealand
  3. Etihad Airways
  4. Qatar Airways
  5. Singapore Airlines
  6. TAP Air Portugal
  7. Emirates
  8. Alaska Airlines
  9. EVA Air
  10. Virgin Australia/Atlantic
  11. Cathay Pacific Airways
  12. Hawaiian Airlines
  13. SAS
  14. United Airlines
  15. Lufthansa/Swiss Group
  16. Finnair
  17. British Airways
  18. KLM
  19. American Airlines
  20. Delta Air Lines
The website also highlighted 20 low-cost airlines with good safety records, including carriers in the United States and Canada.

The low-cost list is not ranked, but the airlines on the list all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and have good safety records.

These are the top 20 low-cost airlines for 2023 (they are listed in alphabetical order).

  1. Air Arabia
  2. AirAsia Group (AirAsia, AirAsia X, AirAsia Thailand, AirAsia Philippines and AirAisa India)
  3. Allegiant
  4. Air Baltic
  5. easyjet
  6. FlyDubai
  7. Frontier
  8. Jetstar Group
  9. Jetblue
  10. IndiGo
  11. Ryanair
  12. Scoot
  13. Southwest
  14. Spicejet
  15. Spirit
  16. Vueling
  17. Vietjet
  18. Volaris
  19. Westjet
  20. Wizz

Thomas also shared a bit of info about how to tell which airlines are the best.

“All airlines have incidents every day and many are aircraft manufacture issues, not airline operational problems."

He went on to say that “[i]t is the way the flight crew handles incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one. So just lumping all incidents together is very misleading.”

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Asymina Kantorowicz
Associate Editor
Asymina Kantorowicz is an Associate Lifestyle Editor for Narcity Media focused on health and entertainment news and is based in Victoria, British Columbia.