When choosing which airline to fly with, price is probably the first factor you think of. An airline's safety record should be on your radar too. See how safe popular airlines are, the planes they fly and the routes they fly with this tool from Airline Ratings.
You can look up popular airlines, like Qantas or Virgin, or regional carriers specific to your area or country. Airline Ratings has five criteria they use to score each airline's safety (a perfect score is seven stars). The criteria is as follows:
- IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification: IOSA is usually conducted every two years for each airline, although it is voluntary to register for. Review of operational management and control systems of the airline makes up the majority of the audit. Two stars can be awarded if an airline passes this criteria.
- European Union Blacklist: Airlines banned from flying over EU airspace because of regulatory oversight, poor aircraft maintenance or potential risk for passenger safety.
- Fatality Record: If the airline has been fatality free for the past ten years, they're given a star. This record only includes fatalities that are by accident on board a plane. Acts of terrorism or hijackings are not included.
- Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Endorsement: The FAA has a list of countries which aren't allowed to fly over American airspace. If an airline originates in a country on the list, they're not given a star for this criteria.
- International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Safety Parameters: There are 8 parameters and two stars are given if all eight are met by an airline. If five to seven are met, one star is awarded. The parameters are legislation, organisation, licensing, operations, airworthiness, accident investigation, air navigation service and aerodromes.
Beyond these five criteria, Airline Ratings also considers if an airline has been grounded by their country's governing aviation safety authority. Beyond safety, the tool further shows you the types of planes they fly, the age of their fleet, their common routes and the history of the airline. Try the tool for yourself at the link below.