Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Quantas once again topped the list of safest airlines for 2021 as rated by AirlineRatings.com, the airline safety monitoring company said.
The Australian airline has consistently maintained safety standards in the categories monitored for 385 airlines since 2013, the company said in a statement Monday.
Quantas, the world's oldest continuously operating airline has been a "clear leader" over the past 100 years in safety protocols, and a pioneer in operations and safety standards, being the "first or second" airline to introduce 16 major safety innovations over the past 60 years.
Quantas was top ranked from 2014 to 2017, and then again in 2019 through 2020.
This year's Top 20 rated airlines in the survey also included Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, EVA Air, Etihad Airways, Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airways, Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, SAS, Finnair, Lufthansa, KLM and United Airlines, the company said.
"In fact, there is very little between the Top 20, they are all standouts," Geoffrey Thomas, editor in chief of the online ranking company said.
These airlines have not experienced fatalities within the past 10 years and have kept up to date on replacing avionics or older aircraft that may have contributed to the deaths of crew or passengers, the company's rating tool system says.
This year, the company has introduced COVID-19 safety standards as part of their measurement metrics. Of the airlines ranked with seven stars, only Royal Jordanian airlines failed COVID-19 safety protocols.
The company also ranked the top budget airlines and listed the Top 10 safest low-cost airlines, listed alphabetically, as Air Arabia, Allegiant, easyjet, Frontier, Jetstar Group, Jetblue, Ryanair, Vietjet, Westjet, and Wizz.
The worst airlines ranked for safety were Pakistan International Airlines; Air Algerie (Algeria), Scat (Kazakhstan); Airblue (Pakistan); Blue Wing (Suriname); Iran Aseman Airlines and Nepal Airlines, which all received one star.
The company has examined crash data and analyzed more than 11,000 serious pilot-related incidents such as runway overruns, over the past five years.
"Accidents and incidents make up five of our seven star rating with audits accounting for one and COVID-19 compliance the final star for a maximum seven-star ranking," Thomas told CNN.
The company also evaluates airline audits from aviation governing and industry bodies and rates airlines by average fleet age.
The year 2020 was an economic anomaly for the international airline industry because of the global pandemic.
Six billion fewer passengers flew internationally because of COVID-19, representing a loss of 64.2%, according to a Dec. 8 analysis from the Canadian Airports Council International.
On Sunday, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration said more than 1.3 million travelers passed through its checkpoints Sunday. The number was 55% below the number of passengers one year ago, but it was its highest volume since March 15, when COVID-19 travel lockdowns began.