Only 5% Airlines Earn a Safe Travel Score of 4.0 or Higher

MAY 24 2021: As airlines strive for a demand recovery, the inherent focus remains on COVID-19 safe travel initiatives. With countries progressing in their respective vaccination campaigns, an opportunity has open to address fully vaccinated travelers back to the skies. This is seconded by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is lobbying efforts to reopen countries on the pre-requisite of vaccination and sound pre-departure passenger testing protocols.

Safe Travel Barometer is a travel technology company operating at the intersection of travel and health security compliance. Its API-based content feed includes COVID-19 health & safety initiatives of 2,000+ suppliers across 10 travel industry verticals, and traveler arrival requirements for 150+ countries. Specifically, Safe Travel Barometer tracks 33 initiatives across 319 airlines – both full-service and low-cost carriers (LCCs). These initiatives are assigned to three sub-categories – COVID-19 Safety Protocols, Traveler Convenience and Service Excellence. Basis upon the publicly announced initiatives, airlines are benchmarked on a Safe Travel Score.

With a Safe Travel Score of 4.5 out of 5.0, Qatar Airways and Emirates maintain lead positions in the April 2021 global airlines leaderboard. Qatar Airways’ lead is reflective of its initiatives associated with two sub-categories – COVID-19 Safety Protocols (98%) and Traveler Convenience (100%) – which contribute to its high Safe Travel Score. Overall, 5% of the 318 airlines assessed achieved a Safe Travel Score of 4.0 and above. U.A.E.-based Etihad Airways is shy of the frontrunners but maintains a top position on the global leaderboard with a Safe Travel Score of 4.4 in April 2021, followed by China Southern Airlines at 4.2. Air China, Delta Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and Iberia also made it to the global leaderboard, all tied at 4.1 out of 5.0.

Safe Travel Score, Worldwide Airlines, April 2021

Full-Service CarriersCountrySafe Travel Score*
(April 2021)
 Low-Cost CarriersCountrySafe Travel Score*
(April 2021)
Qatar AirwaysQatar4.5AirAsiaMalaysia4.0
EmiratesU.A.E.4.5JetBlue AirwaysU.S.A.3.9
Etihad AirwaysU.A.E.4.4Southwest AirlinesU.S.A.3.9
China Southern AirlinesChina4.2IndiGoIndia3.9
Air ChinaChina4.1SpiceJetIndia3.9
Delta AirlinesU.S.A.4.1JEJU airSouth Korea3.8
Turkish AirlinesTurkey4.1RyanairIreland3.8
IberiaSpain4.1Air ArabiaU.A.E.3.8
Air CanadaCanada4.0EurowingsGermany3.8

To know more, check out the Safe Travel Barometer Dashboard for Airlines

Malaysia-based AirAsia grabs pole position among 98 LCCs assessed by Safe Travel Barometer on the global leaderboard with a Safe Travel Score of 4.0 out of 5.0 in April 2021. Among LCCs, U.S.-based JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and India-based IndiGo and SpiceJet were tied with the same Safe Travel Score of 3.9 out of 5.0. Other airlines on the LCC leaderboard include JEJU air, Ryanair, Flydubai, Air Arabia and Eurowings at 3.8 each.

Virendra Jain, Co-Founder and CEO, Safe Travel Barometer states, “After a year of tribulations, countries are at the verge of reopening with relatively enhanced COVID-19 testing and health security protocols. Airlines are playing a critical role in ensuring its passenger and crew safety, alongside the health security obligations with the destinations they serve. It is inevitable that more countries will place responsibility on airlines to pre-screen travelers prior to their departures to mitigate in-flight and community transmission risks.”


  • * Safe Travel Score for airlines is a rating initiative based on an independent assessment of more than 33 initiatives applicable to an air journey, across pre-boarding, boarding and onboard experiences, announced by airlines.
  • Safe Travel Score takes into consideration various initiatives announced by suppliers. These are sub-categorized into the following:
    • COVID-19 Safety Protocols
    • Traveler Convenience
    • Service Excellence
  • Low ratings may not always be reflective of poor initiatives, but also the lack of clear or available information on supplier websites, related official channels.
  • Safe Travel Score should not be associated with the relative physical or psychological safety of the traveler.


Safe Travel Barometer, developed by Safe Travel Technologies, is travel technology solution operating at the intersection of travel and health security compliance. Its primary offering is Traveler Health Screening, an AI-based SaaS solution that enables suppliers to pre-screen travelers’ health documentation and ensures compliance with destination arrival and health security protocols.

Safe Travel Barometer’s Content API allows retailers to track COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and traveler experience initiatives announced by suppliers which influences traveler decisions in the new normal. The API coverage includes more than 2,000 companies across 10 industry categories, 100 parameters, and traveler arrival information on more than 150 destinations.

Safe Travel Technologies is an independent subsidiary of VIDEC, a travel industry advisory and consulting firm.

Visit for more information on Safe Travel Score, explore other travel industry categories, countries of interest, and partnership enquiries.


Mariko Amekodommo

Head – Marketing, Safe Travel Barometer