Emirates and Etihad Airways among world’s safest

By admin Wednesday, 07 January 2015 12:06 PM

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Two UAE airlines in top 10 among 449 airlines, according to AirlineRatings.com

With the flurry of plane crashes in 2014, many people are now afraid to fly. There’s no reason to avoid air travel completely, though. According to AirlineRatings.com, there are a number of airlines out there which have excellent safety records, and two of them are actually based in the UAE.

The aviation website announced on Tuesday that Emirates and Etihad Airways are among the top ten safest airlines for 2015. The airlines were chosen from the 449 carriers surveyed.

Topping the list is Australia’s national airline Qantas, which has a fatality-free record. The other top ten carriers in alphabetical order are Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

To come up with the list, the editorial staff at AirlineRating.com looked into a number of “factors related to audits” from aviation industry authorities like the Federal Aviation Administration and International Civil Aviation Organisation. They also considered the operational history, incident records and operational excellence of the airlines.

The site took into account whether or not each airline is IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certified, banned from flying into European airspace due to safety concerns arising from poor aircraft maintenance, maintained a fatality-free record for the past 10 years, among others.

According to the site, the carriers who made it to the top ten “are always at the forefront of safety innovation and launching new planes and these airlines are a byword for excellence.”

Among the top airlines, Qantas stood out for having achieved “extraordinary record of firsts in safety and operations” over its 94 years in the industry. The airline is now considered the “most experienced” carrier in the world.

“In 2008, in its successful defence to the British Advertising Standards Association of its claim that it is the world’s most experienced airline, Qantas was able to list almost 30 notable industry leading achievements,” the website said.

“The Australian airline has been a leader in: the development of the Future Air Navigation System; the Flight Data Recorder to monitor plane and later crew performance; automatic landings using Global Navigation Satellite System as well as precision approaches around mountains in cloud using RNP (Required Navigation Performance).”

Among the 449 airlines surveyed, 149, or less than 50 per cent, earned the top seven-star safety ranking. Almost 50 carriers garnered three stars or less. Five carriers received a one-star rating and these are Agni Air, Kam Air, Nepal Airlines, Scat and Tara Air.AirlineRatings.com also named the top ten safest budget airlines. In alphabetical order, they are Aer Lingus, Alaska Airlines, Icelandair, Jetblue, Jetstar, Kulula.com, Monarch Airlines, Thomas Cook, TUI Fly and Westjet.

The year 2014 saw a number of plane crashes killing nearly 1,000, but aviation experts said it’s not the worst in airline history and only translates to one fatal accident for every 1.3 million flights.

“Certainly 21 fatal accidents with 986 fatalities - higher than the 10-year average- is sickening,” said Airlineratings.com.

“However, the world’s airlines carried a record 3.3 billion passengers on 27 million flights. Flashback 50 years and there were a staggering 87 crashes killing 1,597 when airlines carried only 141 million passengers - 5 per cent of today’s number.”