AirlineRatings.com announces its list of the world’s safest airlines

QANTAS Airways Airbus A380-842 VH-OQJ (msn 062) LHR (SPA). Image: 935640.

AirlineRatings.com, the world’s only safety and product rating website, has announced its top 20 safest airlines for 2017 from the 425 it monitors.

Top of the list for the fourth-year running is Australia’s QANTAS Airways, which has a fatality free record in the jet era.

Making up the top 20 in alphabetical order are; Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, ANA-All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.

AirlineRatings.com does not numerically rank its top 20 safest airlines but selects one overall standout airline.

Responding to public interest, the AirlineRatings.com editors also identified their top ten safest low-cost airlines.

These are (in alphabetical order): Aer Lingus, Flybe, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar Australia, Jetstar Asia, Thomas Cook, Virgin America, Vueling and Westjet.

In making its selections, AirlineRatings.com takes into account a range of factors that include; audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations; government audits; airline’s crash and serious incident record; profitability and fleet age.

AirlineRating.com’s editorial team, one of the world’s most awarded and experienced, also examined each airline’s fleet history and its track record of initiating new safety technology to arrive at its top 20 safest airlines.

According to AirlineRatings.com editor Geoffrey Thomas, “our top 20 safest airlines are always at the forefront of safety innovation, operational excellence and the launching of more advanced aircraft like the A350, 787 and 777X.”

“While these airlines are always leaders in safety there was no question that QANTAS still remains the leader in safety enhancements and operational excellence,” Mr Thomas said.

“Over its 96-year history QANTAS has amassed an amazing record of firsts in safety and operations and is accepted as the world’s most experienced airline.”

“QANTAS has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years.”

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways Airbus A380-842 VH-OQJ (msn 062) LHR (SPA). Image: 935640.

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Air Juan starts scheduled seaplane flights from Manila Harbour to Boracay, Coron, Puerto Galera and Subic

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Philippine aviation company Air Juan has announced new direct daily seaplane service from Manila to the country’s top tourist destinations such as Boracay, Coron, Puerto Galera and Subic.

Taking off from its dock at the Manila Harbour, the airline operates a fleet of new nine-seater Cessna Caravan amphibian passenger aircraft that can land and take-off from airports and from the water.

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Air Juan’s seaplane service lands directly at most resorts in Coron, Palawan, with point to point service to popular destinationssuch as Two Seasons Coron, Busuanga Bay Lodge, Huma Island and El Rio y Mar; and at Diniwid Beach Resort in Boracay.  

Puerto Galera, known as one of the world’s best bays, is now a mere 30 minutes away on a seaplane; and Subic, a business and meeting destination north of Manila is also a short 20-minute flight from Manila on Air Juan seaplanes.  Fares on the Subic route start at PHP 4,500 per person per way; while flights direct to Boracay start at PHP 12,000 per person per way.  Booking can be made online through www.airjuan.com.

In addition to the direct daily service, Air Juan offers private charter flights on its seaplanes, propeller planes and helicopters to most island destinations in the country.

Air Juan was founded in 2012.

Photos: Air Juan.

SalamAir to commence operations on January 30, 2017

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SalamAir (Muscat) is Oman’s first Low Cost Carrier (LCC) with an initial fleet of three Airbus A320s (A40-OVA/OVB/OVC).  The SalamAir A320 fleet will feature a single class available to fliers with three seats on either side divided by an aisle alongside a comfortable pitch seat.

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According to the new airline, “SalamAir is the brainchild of ASAAS, a national investment and development company, SalamAir was formed to meet Oman’s rapidly increasing demand for air traffic, which is expected to grow by 40% by 2019. ASAAS has made a substantial initial investment in SalamAir, its anchor venture, with the ambition to advance the airline as a catalyst for Oman’s development and diversification agenda, and as a key component of the broader efforts to promote tourism and hospitality across the sector’s value chain.”

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The first revenue flight will be between Muscat and Salalah starting on January 30, 2017, followed by flights to Dubai (Al Maktoum) from Muscat on February 15, 2017.

Images: SalamAir

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Sichuan Airlines to lease an Airbus A350-900 from ALC

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Air Lease Corporation (AL) has announced the placement of one Airbus A350-900 wide body jet on long term lease to Sichuan Airlines (Chengdu, China). The aircraft will be delivered in the first quarter of 2019 from ALC’s order book with Airbus. The A350-900 will be primarily operated across the Pacific, linking major cities in China with USA and Canada.

Sichuan will be leasing three Airbus A350-900s through AerCap and now one through ALC.

Sichuan Airlines has leased Airbus A330-200, A330-300, A319, and A321 aircraft from ALC. Later this year, Sichuan will receive the first A320neo and A321neo leased into China from ALC.

VIM Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A330-200

The delivery of the first Airbus A330 to VIM Airlines

On December 23, 2016 VIM Airlines (VIM Avia) took delivery of its first Airbus A330-200. The pictured VIM Airlines A330 is pictured departing Dublin, Ireland bound for the Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport (UWLW) on its delivery flight. VP-BDV was painted by Eirtech at their Dublin facility. The airliner arrived in Dublin on August 1, 2016 registered as OE-IEA.

Copyright Photo: VIM Airlines (VIM Avia) Airbus A330-203 VP-BDV (msn 535) DUB (Michael Kelly). Image: 936268.

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Jeju Air acquires another Boeing 737-800 from Ryanair

Jeju Air Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EFR (msn 37541) DUB (Michael Kelly). Image: 936267.

The pictured Jeju Air Boeing 737-800 was formerly operated by Ryanair as EI-EFR. It is seen arriving at Dublin on December 23, 2016 from Bournemouth in the UK where it was painted into the Jeju Air livery. The airframe will be delivered to the South Korean carrier in January 2017.

Copyright Photo: Jeju Air Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EFR (msn 37541) DUB (Michael Kelly). Image: 936267.

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SkyWest’s ExpressJet to retire its CRJ200 fleet over the next year

ExpressJet to retire its CRJ200 fleet in late 2017

SkyWest, Inc. has announced additional fleet transitions and contract updates designed to reduce SkyWest’s long-term fleet risk and enhance its ability to respond to changing partner needs.

Specifically, SkyWest’s ExpressJet operation expects to transition to flying primarily dual-class aircraft in its CRJ operation by removing its Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft from service over the next year.

The removal of the CRJ200 aircraft reduces ExpressJet’s future required investment in its 50-seat fleet and is expected to improve the airline’s operating efficiency by eliminating an aircraft type from its platform.

SkyWest also announced ExpressJet and American Airlines have agreed to place 12 dual-class CRJ700s into service under a multi-year term. These CRJ700s had been scheduled to be removed from service under a previously-disclosed early lease return arrangement.

Additionally, SkyWest and Bombardier entered into a termination agreement covering Bombardier’s residual value guarantee (“RVG”) agreements on 76 CRJ200 aircraft owned by SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet. Bombardier agreed to pay SkyWest $90 million by January 2017 along with certain other consideration in exchange for the release. Both the required sale of each aircraft and the cost to SkyWest of returning the aircraft to mid-time condition were points of risk and uncertainty for SkyWest that this termination agreement eliminates.

As a result of the expectation to remove ExpressJet CRJ200s from service and the Bombardier RVG termination agreement, SkyWest is evaluating its total 50-seat CRJ200 fleet and related long-lived assets for impairment in Q4 2016. SkyWest currently anticipates it will record a non-cash impairment charge in Q4 2016 estimated to be in the range of $440 million to $490 million (pre-tax) on its CRJ200 aircraft and other 50-seat aircraft assets, net of the $90 million in cash proceeds from the Bombardier termination agreement.

Copyright Photo: Delta Connection-ExpressJet Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N923EV (msn 7826) ATL (Jay Selman). Image: 403333.

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