An international air safety and product rating website has ranked three Nepali airlines—Nepal Airlines, Tara Air and Agni Air—as the most unsafe airlines to fly.
Of the 449 airlines companies surveyed by AirlineRatings.com, the above-mentioned three Nepali airways have been given one star for safety. Besides these three, Afghanistan’s Kam Air and Kazakhstan’s Scat are the only other airlines to get one-star in safety ranking. Of the 449 airlines surveyed by the website, 149 had the top seven-star safety ranking, but almost 50 have just three stars or less.
Australian flag carrier Qantas Airways, which has a fatality free record in jet era, topped the safety ranking with seven stars. Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, , Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, all with seven-star rating, join Qantas in the top 10 most safest airlines to fly with. The seven star rated airlines are the safest while those with three or less star are deemed unsafe.
Tara Air, a subsidiary of Yeti Airlines, mostly flies to rural mountain routes with its three twin-turboprop Dornier aircraft. Likewise, the ageing fleet of Nepal Airlines Canadian-made Twin Otters also mostly flies to rural airports. Its two aged Boeing 757s requires frequent and costly maintenance which has taken its toll in the airlines international routes. Its aim to regain the control of Nepali skies with MA-60 and Y12e aircrafts has not paid much with frequent problems with the China-made planes.
The debt-ridden Agni Airlines has not taken to the skies for more than two years. The airlines which has a fleet of three Jetstream 41 and two Dornier, out of which only one Dornier is in airworthiness condition, has been grappled with multiple problems including huge bank loans, staff payment dues, landing and parking charge dues to Tribhuvan International Airport.
The website’s rating system takes into account a range of factors related to audits from aviation’s governing bodies such as the FAA and ICAO as well as government audits and the airline’s fatality record. It also states that safety rating for each airline is based on a comprehensive analysis utilising information from the world’s aviation governing body and leading association along with governments and crash data.
The website mentioned that the world’s airlines carried a record 3.3 billion passengers on 27 million flights in 2014.