The News Minute | January 7, 2014 | 03:09 pm IST
Canberra: Australian flag carrier Qantas has been named the world's safest airline in a report published by AirlineRatings.com Wednesday.
Using a system that takes into account audits from aviation governing bodies and governments, as well as fatality records, Qantas was named the safest and most experienced airline going into 2015, Xinhua reported citing the report.
Qantas, which is in its 95th year of operation, was hailed for "an extraordinary record of firsts" in terms of its safety history and ranked the best of 449 airlines, including low-cost carriers, assessed by the website.
AirlineRatings.com praised Qantas for the way it monitors the engines of its aircraft using satellite communications, saying "doing so allows the airline to detect problems before they become a major safety issue".
The report follows the worst year for fatal air accidents over the last decade, with AirlineRatings.com mentioning the Malaysia Airlines flights MH370 and MH17, in addition to the AirAsia Flight QZ8501, as the industry's worst incidents.
However, despite the record amount of deaths, the overall number of accidents throughout 2014 was at an all-time low.
"Certainly, 21 fatal air accidents with 986 fatalities -- higher than the 10-year average -- is sickening," the report said.
"However, the world's airlines carried a record 3.3 billion passengers on 27 million flights.â€ť
It said the crashes of flights MH370 and MH17 â€śwere unprecedented in modern times and claimed 537 livesâ€ť.
"Flashback 50 years and there were a staggering 87 crashes killing 1,597 when airlines carried only 141 million passengers -- 5 percent of today's number."
The website went on to marvel at Qantas's fatality-free record in the jet era, given the aforementioned statistics.
The remainder of the top 10 in terms of the world's safest airlines are Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.