Revealed: The World’s Most Powerful Passports & Safest Airlines in 2021


Oh, when will we be able to travel again? 2020 was a tough year for most of us, where we were robbed of the opportunity to take a breather and escape reality. However, with COVID-19 vaccines being distributed around the world, there’s hope yet for 2021!

2021 is off to a strong start, and there’s nothing like a little #wanderlust dreaming to get all of us going. After all, what harm is a little advanced planning going to do anyone? 

World’s safest airlines – 2021 edition, an airline safety and product review website, has just published the rankings of the world’s safest airlines in 2021, based on an analysis of 385 airplane carriers from all around the world. They took into account factors such as age of respective aircrafts, crash records, fraudulent pilot license scams, COVID-19 compliance, and so on.


Australian airline, Qantas, came out top for their heavy emphasis on safety. Many pilots were grounded during the pandemic; before they returned to the skies, they had to attend a mandatory six-day course to refresh their skills and ensure that everything goes smoothly. If that doesn’t spell commitment, we don’t know what does!

This sheer level of commitment is what has made Qantas stand out over the years; Qantas retained the crowning glory of being the world’s safest airline from 2014 to 2017, as well as in 2019 and 2020. And if you’re wondering what happened to the year of 2018, ranked its top 20 airlines equally for that year, without a specified winner. 

Now, in 2021, the top five safest airlines are, in order, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, and Emirates. These are closely followed by Eva Air, Etihad Airways, Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airways, and more. They’ve also highlighted the safest low-cost airlines, with the top 10 being Air Arabia, Allegiant, EasyJet, Frontier, Jetstar Group, Jetblue, Ryanair, Vietjet, Westjet, and Wizz Air. 

In the context of COVID-19, the top 20 COVID-compliant airlines are Air Baltic, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, AirAsia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Japan Airlines, Jetblue, KLM, Korean Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, Qatar Airways, and Westjet. 

Qatar Airways

Notable examples included Qatar Airways, who offer passengers masks and faces shields, as well as Emirates’ complimentary health kit for passengers.

World’s most powerful passports – where will you go in 2021?

When restrictions do lift and borders fully reopen, lucky are those who have their hands on any of these passports! 

The Japan Times

The Henley Passport Index has just ranked Japan to have the world’s most powerful passport, propelling the APAC region to the top of the list. Japan is top of the list, followed by Singapore, and a tie between South Korea and Germany for third place.

The APAC region’s crowning achievement is primarily due to the region showing better signs of recovery from the pandemic; the rest of the world, sadly, is still struggling to get a grasp on the virus. The Henley Passport Index also doesn’t factor in temporary restrictions; with Japan winning due to its offer of visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a total of 191 destinations worldwide. 

Due to these temporary restrictions, passport holders in the UK and United States are only able to travel to less than 75 destinations, resulting in both of them being bumped down to seventh on the list.

In a nutshell, 2021’s top best passports are, in order, Japan (191 destinations); Singapore (190 destinations); South Korea and Germany (189); Italy, Finland, Spain, and Luxembourg (188 destinations); Denmark and Austria (187 destinations); Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, and Ireland (186 destinations); Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, New Zealand (185 destinations); Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, and Australia (184 destinations); Canada (183 destinations); as well as Hungary (181 destinations).

On the other end of the spectrum, the worst passports in the world include North Korea (39 destinations); Libya and Nepal (38 destinations); Palestinian territories (37 destinations); Somalia and Yemen (33 destinations); Pakistan (32 destinations); Syria (29 destinations); Iraq (28 destinations); as well as Afghanistan (26 destinations).

And for us Singaporeans, our passport is second on the list – hip, hip, hooray! Now, all that is left to do is to hang on tight, shower our frontline workers with lots of love, and ride through this together. Soon, the world will be ours to explore once more!


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