Personal safety is everyone's concern, especially when choosing an airline for trips, because 36,000 feet up in the air is not really an ideal location for non-adrenaline junkies. However, if you're planning to get over your fear and go on a trip, we'll support your plan by giving you a list of the safest airlines to consider.
Likewise, we'll give you a glimpse of the airlines you may want to stay away from, at least until the company manages to assure the safety of its customers.
The website AirlineRatings.com released its list of safest airlines for 2016 on Jan. 5, taking into account audits and safety records of flights, as well as an airline's operational history, to determine the top 20 safest airlines out of the 407 that was surveyed.
"Airlineratings.com was developed to provide everyone in the world a one-stop-shop for everything related to airlines, formed by a team of aviation editors, who have forensically researched nearly every airline in the world," the site says.
The Safest Major Airlines
Qantas Airlines wins the ratings by a landslide with seven out of seven stars awarded. Qantas is not just the leading airlines for both domestic and international flights, the 1920- established Queensland brand has zero fatalities. If you're concerned about safety and reliability, nothing says that more than a consistent fatality-free record.
The rest of the airlines that received seven stars are as follows: Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airline, System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia.
All the major airlines above were evaluated according to the following standards:
- IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Certification: A standardized assessment with regard to operational management and control systems;
- Clearance from European Union (EU) Blacklist: the EU airspace ban is put in place when EU deems an airline to have risky safety practices whether in terms of the aircraft maintenance, operation or passenger safety;
- Fatality-free: If an airline that fits this qualification, it means that the company has maintained a fatality free record for the past 10 years. However, this qualification only has to do with a crew or passenger dying from accident while on board the aircraft. This excludes violent acts from outside influence such as terrorism or hijacking;
- Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) clearance: This verifies that the airlines adheres to international standards for both aircraft maintenance and operations;
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety parameters: the eight safety parameters are: Legislation, Organization, Licensing, Operations, Airworthiness, Accident Investigation, Air Navigation Service and Aerodromes.
- Country Audit: This has to do with the airline's own country of origin and whether the airlines has had any aircraft grounded in the past five years by its home country due to safety concerns.
The Worst Airlines
When there's the best of the best, there's also the worst of the worst, and Airline Ratings has also taken that into consideration. Given the strict standards that Airline Ratings used to evaluate all 407 airlines, you might want to take note of the following companies which received only one star: Batik Air, Citilink, KalStar Aviation, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, TransNusa, Wings Air and Xpress Air.
The Silver Lining
Before you dismiss the ratings altogether, you may as well know that Airline Ratings has also heard the need for rating low-cost airlines since not everyone can afford the rates of the major ones. All of these low cost carries also received seven stars: Aer Lingus7, Flybe, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia, Thomas Cook, TUI Fly (Germany), Virgin America, Volaris and Westjet.
Other Awards For 2016
Air New Zealand won the Airline of the Year award for the third year in a row as well as the Best Economy carrier award so that should count for something, especially if you plan on visiting Middle Earth and The Shire.
Happy and safe travels!