Travelling by air has never been more precarious over the past few decades. Despite state-of-the-art technology, planes have mysteriously fallen off the radar or been taken down by bad weather conditions. 

If the thought of flying makes you nervous, you'll want to take note of the top 20 safest airlines as evaluated by AirlineRatings.com, an aviation safety and product rating website. The star-based rating system they employ takes into consideration a host of factors that include government audits, fatality records, the airline's operational history, and operational excellence. After evaluating 407 airlines against these criteria, AirlineRatings.com arrived at their 2016 list of the world's top 20 safest airlines (as presented in alphabetical order):

 

  • Air New Zealand
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Qantas
  • Scandinavian Airline System
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

  • Unsurprisingly, Australia's national carrier Qantas topped the list with its seven-star rating for the third year in a row. Beyond a crash that took place in 1951, Qantas has managed to uphold a fatality-free record. 

  • On the other end of the spectrum, airlines from Indonesia, Nepal, and Surinam weighed in with a one-star rating and fared the worst.