Qantas was once considered the world's safest airline. We know this because Dustin Hoffman's savant Raymond Babbitt declared it so in Rain Man, leading to a cheer whenever the movie played in any Aussie cinema.
(For what it's worth, the scene in which Hoffman's character claims Qantas has never had an aircraft crash is allegedly cut when the movie is shown inflight by every airlines except Qantas.)
Fast forward to 2013, and Europe's Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) has revealed its list of the world's safest airlines – and no, the the Red Roo doesn't make the Top 10 this time around, although Virgin Australia manages to get a look-in.
JACDEC rates Finnair as the world's safest airline followed by Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Etihad.
Next on the list are Taiwan's EVA Air, Portugal's TAP, Hainan Airlines, Virgin Australia squeezing in at ninth place and BA rounding out the top 10.
JACDEC says their roster is "based on our annual safety calculations which include all hull loss accidents and serious incidents in the last 30 years of operations in relation to the revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) performed in the same time."
"We also took into account the international safety benchmarks such as the IOSA Audit and the USOAP country factor."
The agency reports a total of 44 'hull losses' in 2012 with 496 fatalities, and the JACDEC website can make for sobering reading. There's nothing like being greeted with a list of recent aircraft crashes and fatalities before you set off on your next trip!