How does one decide which airlines are the world’s worst?
Poor safety or regulatory standards will be the most important factor for many people, and there are currently more than 100 airlines – most of which you probably haven’t heard of – banned from EU airspace, or facing operational restrictions, as they don’t come up to scratch. They include every airline from Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Sudan, as well as dozens from Indonesia.
The website AirlineRatings.com, meanwhile, awards carriers a star rating based on safety standards. Just 10 muster only a single star: Batik Air, Bluewing Airlines, Citilink, Kal-Star aviation, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, TransNusa, Trigana Air Service, Wings Air, Xpress Air.
Skytrax, another aviation ratings website, judges carriers according on the quality of their product and services.
Nine carriers (ANA, Asiana, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines) can boast full marks. There are 40 with four stars, including Virgin, Lufthansa, BA, Air France and – surprisingly, perhaps – Emirates, which was voted top long-haul airline by Telegraph Travel readers earlier this year. A total of 107 airlines have three stars, including Ryanair, easyJet, United, WOW, Wizz, Norwegian, Thomas Cook, Monarch, Jet2 and American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier.
But 21 airlines fall below that standard, according to Skytrax. Here they are (in alphabetical order):
Slogan: “We don’t just fly there, we live there”
2. Biman Bangladesh Airlines
3. Bulgaria Air
4. China United Airlines
5. Cubana Airlines
Slogan: “Cuba’s Gateway to the World”
6. Iran Air
Slogan: “Our Mission is Your Safety” & “We Take You There, We Take You Back”
7. Lion Air
Slogan: “We Make People Fly”
8. Mahan Air
Slogan: “The Spirit of Excellence”
9. Nepal Airlines
10. Onur Air
Slogan: “Fly Turkey, Fly!”
11. Pegasus Airlines
Slogan: “We Didn’t Start Aviation In Turkey, But We Transformed It”
12. Rossiya Airlines
Based: St Petersburg
14. Spirit Airlines
Based: Miramar, Florida
Slogan: “Less Money, More Go”