Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Air NZ world's second safest airline

Air New Zealand has been rated the world's second safest airline to fly with by a leading air travel website.

Qantas is still the safest of 448 airlines rated by Airlineratings.com, having never had a fatality in the jet era.

Air New Zealand is next on the list of the airlines offering the greatest peace of mind when flying.

The air travel site says 2013 was the safest for flying since 1945, with only 269 deaths from 29 accidents.

The results are well below the 10-year average of 32 accidents and 719 fatalities, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

The worst accident of the year killed 44 passengers and six crew abroad a Tatarstan Boeing 737-500 from Moscow to Kazan, which exploded in flames on landing.

The most miraculous escape was for the 304 passengers and crew that walked away from the spectacular crash of the Asiana Boeing 777 at San Francisco International Airport in July.

Only three passengers died, when the plane hit the runway sea wall and flipped around.

AirlineRatings.com safety rating takes into consideration the EU black list, which bans all airlines - with a few exceptions - from 21 countries, including Angola, Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Indonesia (with the exception of five airlines), Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Nepal, Philippines (with the exception of one airline), Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia.

The 10 safest airlines according to AirlineRatings.com:

Air New Zealand
Cathay Pacific
Singapore Airlines
Virgin Atlantic
Korean Air
Royal Jordanian

The lowest ranked airlines were:

One Star
Kam Air
Bluewing Airlines


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