Indian airlines do well on product ratings, but industry fares poorly on safety

AirlineRatings gives high marks to Jet Airways under product rating.

Published: Jan 14, 2019
Image: Reuters

Prince Mathews Thomas

Moneycontrol News

The latest survey by AirlineRatings may have given a lot of stars to Indian airlines, but at the same time, leaves a question mark over the safety of air travel in the country.

The survey does product and safety ratings for more than 435 airlines around the world. These include India's IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Air India.

Interestingly, the Naresh Goyal-led airline - which is otherwise fighting hard to overcome a liquidity crunch - tops Indian carriers on product ratings. It gets the maximum possible seven stars in product ratings. India's only other full-service airline, Air India gets five stars.

IndiGo and SpiceJet, surveyed among low-cost airlines, each get four out of a maximum possible five stars. GoAir gets 3.5 stars, JetKonnect three stars, and AirAsia India, two stars.

The ratings take into consideration parameters such as account size of seats, quality of in-flight entertainment, meals, and beds in the first class segment.

Safety audit, a concern

AirlineRatings also takes into account the safety audit of airlines and the country's aviation industry.

Here too, most of the Indian airlines fare well with IndiGo, Air India, Jet Airways and GoAir getting six stars of a possible seven. SpiceJet and AirAsia India get three stars each.

Says AirlineRatings:

"Our rating system is rated from one to seven stars on safety – with seven being the highest ranking. Within each airline, you will find the country of origin, airline code, booking URL and seat map information. The rating system takes into account a number of different factors related to audits from aviation's governing bodies, lead associations, as well as the airlines, own safety data. Every airline has a safety rating breakdown so you can see exactly how they rate."

The worrying point is the performance of the Indian aviation market, which could meet just four of the eight parameters on the test.

For the safety survey, AirlineRatings takes into account the audit done by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The eight ICAO audit parameters include licensing, airworthiness, accident investigation and air navigation service.

In last year's ICAO test, India had ranked below most of its neighbours, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

India's safety standards were also under scrutiny by US regulator Federal Aviation Administration last year.

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