News

Airline safety under scrutiny

A new online resource has been launched which aims to comfort the 60% of travellers that have a fear of flying, while acting as a watchdog on the aviation industry.

New website, www.airlineratings.com, takes into account audits from aviation's governing bodies and lead associations as well as government audits and airline fatality records to give 425 airlines a rating from one to seven stars.

In addition, its team of 14 global contributors will examine each airline's on board product including seat recline, entertainment system and food and beverage, rating it using the same scale. Passenger reviews are also featured.

The site has been created by Australian aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas with the hope of comforting those who are uneasy about taking to the skies and demystifying the aviation industry for the average consumer.

"It really surprised us that 60% of the 3 billion people that travel every year have a fear of flying to some degree," he said.

Although passengers using well-trusted "seven star" carriers such as Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines can feel confident about their safety, Thomas said there remain areas of significant concern.

"Many Australians and other travellers get off the beaten track in indonesia, Nepal and Africa," he said.

"Africa, in particular, has an appalling safety record which is almost tenfold higher than the rest of the world, so the airline you choose to fly on to get to the game park at the end of your journey becomes really critical and you may in fact opt to drive a car instead."

A few of the one, two and three star rated airlines include Lion Air, Yeti Airlines, Ariana Afghan Airways, Yangon Airlines, Air India Express and Airlines PNG.

The resource will be invaluable for agents helping their clients to plan their trips, he added.

But the site's mission does not end there, according to Thomas. With all of the contributors well-versed in the aviation industry, it will also act as an industry watchdog.

"We are going to be challenging the industry at every point and trying to improve air travel for people," he said.

Expansion is also on the cards with the site currently being translated into Mandarin for launch in China in a few months time.



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