Air NZ named world's second safest airline

Air New Zealand has been named the world's second safest airline in 2012 by a European safety rating agency.

The Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre's safety ranking for the year names Finnair as the world's safest, followed by Air NZ and then Cathay Pacific.

Jetstar was ranked 20th.

The ranking of 60 airlines looks at international safety benchmarks, as well as hull loss accidents and serious incidents in the last 30 years of operations in relation to revenue passenger kilometres.

The three lowest ranked airlines were Taiwan's China Airlines, Brasil's TAM Airlines and Air India.

Air NZ safety officer David Morgan says the recognition is testament to the airline's dedication to maintaining a strong safety culture and it was pleasing to be recognised.

"We have worked hard as an airline to create a safety culture which has been embraced by more than 10,000 employees."

Finnair's last fatal accident was in 1963 when a flight crashed between Finland and Sweden, killing 22 passengers and all crew members.

That was not included in the ranking calculations, nor was New Zealand's worst airline disaster; the loss of 257 lives in 1979 when flight TE901 crashed into Antarctica's Mount Erebus.

It also does not include the on loan Air NZ A320 crashing into the Mediterranean Sea in 2008, killing six.

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