Many people live with a real and sometimes almost disturbing fear of flying. While this is understandable to a certain extent, for some it seriously limits the things they’re able to do in their lives. Many jobs now require air travel and of course for people living in the likes of the UK, to get a holiday with guaranteed sunshine more often than not requires a flight or two.
One of the things that plays on the mind of people who are most frightened of flying is safety. Yet with odds in the region of 11million to 1 being quoted as the risk of dying in a plane crash and as high as 1 in 470 in a car crash, it is easy to wonder why we have so much less anxiety when we click our car seat belt than when we do the same thing in a plane.
With big aircraft like Boeings being structurally more sound than ever before and the technology used in the cockpit being so sophisticated, the odds of dying from an accident in the sky are in fact pretty slim. Yet when they happen, they make big headlines – in part just because they’re so infrequent!
But if you’re someone who dreads the airport lounge, you may well be interested in working out who flies the world’s safest and the world’s most dangerous airlines.
A report published in the Daily Mail described a star rating system for plane safety that is being used by Airline and Safety ratings website airlineratings.com. In the report airlineratings.com rated 449 airlines and gave them star ratings based on these questions:
Is the airline IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) certified?
Is the airline on the European Union (EU) Blacklist?
Has the airline maintained a fatality free record for the past 10 years?
Is the airline FAA (America's Federal Aviation Administration) endorsed?
Does the country of airline origin meet all 8 ICAO safety parameters?
Has the airline's fleet been grounded by the country's governing aviation safety authority due to safety concerns?
Does the airline operate only Russian built aircraft?
Airlines that scored 7 stars were deemed to be safest and those at the bottom of the pile with only one, two or three stars, the most dangerous. Highlighted in the article were Nepal Airlines and Tara Air, both of which only earned one star for safety. With other low rating airlines being quoted as Kam Air, SCAT Airlines in Kazakhstan and Lion Air in Indonesia, there are probably good reasons for avoiding these airlines if you can.
Reassuringly, bur worryingly at the same time (because the figure is so low) only 149 out of the 449 airlines achieved a seven-star rating. Malaysia Airlines is a surprising case, with a 5 out of 7-star rating, despite its two tragic flights in 2014. And Qantas scored top marks out of all the airlines. Having won the world’s safest airline award for the last three years, Qantas has been ‘fatality free’ throughout the jet engine era. With the airline’s last crash taking place in 1951, Qantas rubs shoulders with other safe giants such as United, American, Lufthansa and Emirates. Virgin Atlantic also features in the Top 20.
So, if you’re an anxious flyer – the good news is that the real risks are pretty slim, but do your homework, plan your routes and you can reduce the risks even further.
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