06/14/2013 04:27 pm ET Updated Aug 14, 2013

World's Safest Airlines (PHOTOS)

Travelers can find plenty of reasons to complain about airlines -- except when it comes to safety.

"Air travel has become very safe in recent years," says Ariel Beresniak of the Air Transport Rating Agency in Geneva. "The most important airlines have very high safety profiles."

U.S. carriers with scheduled services have experienced just one fatal crash worldwide since 2006, according to the National Safety Transportation Board. And none of the 240 leading airlines incurred a crash last year, making 2012 the safest on record, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Travel + Leisure decided to find out which airlines are the safest of all by taking a Bowl Championship Series-like methodology (see full explanation here) that combines the two major global safety rankings with other critical factors to determine the top airline rankings.

Read on for the results -- a comprehensive list of the world's safest airlines.

--Joe Yogerst

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World's Safest Airlines (PHOTOS)