Air New Zealand has been named as the world’s safest airline for 2024, reclaiming the top spot from Australian carrier Qantas.

The national carrier was awarded the title by Airline Ratings, a travel information website.

Factors in making the evaluation include serious incidents, recent fatal accidents, audits, profitability, safety initiatives, pilot training assessments and fleet age.

It leaves out factors such as bird strikes, injuries due to turbulence, weather diversions and lightning strikes as the airline has no control over those events.

The website’s editor Geoffrey Thomas said the airline has a firm focus on safety and excels across the broad safety spectrum.

“The airline operates in some of the most challenging weather environments which test pilot skills.

“For instance, Wellington is one of the most windy airports in the world, while Queenstown is a huge navigational challenge.”

Of the top 25 safest airlines, the safety margins were “very small,” Thomas added.

Air New Zealand chief operational integrity and safety officer Captain David Morgan said that the airline was pleased to have its commitment to safety recognised.

“Safety is at the forefront of everything we do at Air New Zealand, and the safety of our customers and our people is always our biggest priority.”

Last year, Airline Ratings named Air New Zealand as the world’s best airline, the seventh time it had received the top honour since 2013.