Due to its „lack of traffic performance“, Etihad Airways was not evaluated for 2021, at least not in the international ranking. In the regional comparison, the Abu Dhabi carrier was already ahead of its competitor from Dubai.

Now Etihad is scoring again worldwide, pushing last year’s winner Emirates into second place. The Hamburg-based safety agency Jacdec, which compiles the risk index every year, also cites the comparatively young fleets of the two Arab airlines as a reason for the good ratings.

30 years of accident history taken into account 

Overall, the index is based on the accident history of the respective airline over the past 30 years, so it is not just the previous year that counts. In addition, aspects of country-specific flight safety and other specific risk factors of the airlines are included in the evaluation.

Etihad achieves 95.3% of the achievable 100% in the index, which Jacdec compiles together with „Aero International“. Very close behind are Emirates and KLM as the safest European airline. Finnair, which usually also occupies a top position, is missing from the international ranking in 2022, as it was last year, due to the lack of long-haul routes on offer. This time, the US-American Jet Blue and the British Easyjet follow in 4th and 5th place (last year: places 3 and 5).

Lufthansa improves its ranking

Of the airlines in the German-speaking countries, only Lufthansa makes it into the worldwide ranking, improving from 17th to 14th place with 87.9% compared to the previous year. In a purely regional European comparison, Lufthansa is only in 15th place behind Eurowings (9th) and Condor (12th), but ahead of Swiss (18th) and Austrian (19th).

According to the index by Jacdec and Aero International, the front-runner in Europe is Finnair, followed by KLM and Transavia – but these three airlines are very close to each other. For the Americas, the analysis names Jetbue and Canada’s Westjet as the safest carriers, followed by Delta Air Lines. In the Asia/Africa/Middle & Middle East region, Etihad, Emirates and Singapore Airlines form the top trio.

The most serious accidents in 2022

The index cites the crash of a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 on 21 March near the southern Chinese city of Wuzhou as the most serious accident of 2022. At the time, 132 people on board died. The cause was apparently the suicide of the co-pilot.