"Flying across the world is safer than driving your car each day." It's a debate that will certainly rumble on into 2020.
For those who vouch for the safety of flying, they can point to the statistics for 2019 which show that it was the fifth safest year in terms of airliner fatalities since 1942, according to Aviation Safety Network.
There were, however, still 287 fatalities across 23 accidents – down from 561 fatalities in 18 accidents in 2018.
Scroll through the gallery above to see a countdown of the world's safest airlines for 2020.
Of the 287 in 2019, 157 fatalities came from the Ethiopian Airlines crash involving a Boeing 737 Max in March, while 12 were killed when a Bek Air passenger plane, carrying nearly 100 people, crashed on December 27 shortly after departing from Almaty airport in Kazakhstan.
Travellers seeking peace of mind before they step on board can take assurance from the latest top 20 safest airlines list revealed by AirlineRatings.com.
Which airline is top for 2020?
It's Australia's Qantas – again.
The safety and product rating website placed Qantas in first place for 2019 as well, and while it wasn't singled out in 2017, it was recognised as the world's safest by AirlineRatings.com for the four years prior to that.
“Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years and has not had a fatality in the pure-jet era,” said editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Thomas.
The Middle East was well represented in this year's top 20, with Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways making a return, plus Dubai's Emirates and Royal Jordanian present.
How is the rating determined?
Thomas said the difference between a good airline from an unsafe one can be determined by the way crew handles incidents, while many incidents are engine or manufacturer related rather than a problem coming from airline operation.
The company's editors and industry advisors take into account critical factors including:
• audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations
• government audits
• airline’s crash and serious incident record
• fleet age
• financial position
• pilot training and culture.