Flying these days isn't all Dreamliners and flat beds with complimentary designer pyjamas.
In some less-developed countries, flying is all about getting from A to B with no option to compare in-flight meals, or safety records.
Spare a thought then for those flying out of Afghanistan, which has just had two airlines named among the least safe in the world.
An annual study by AirlineRatings.com looked at 405 airlines and marked them with a seven-star rating system. It gave just four of these one and two stars – Ariana Afghan Airlines, Blue Wing Airlines, Kam Air and Trigana Air Service, with Blue Wing and Trigana making the list for the second year running.
AirlineRatings says it takes into account the most important safety factors when calculating its results. These include audits from aviation’s governing bodies and governments; an airline’s crash and serious incident record; and the fleet age.
The least-safe airlines
Kam Air and Ariana are based in Afghanistan. Kam has a fleet of 13 aircraft, including two McDonnell Douglas MD-87s and two turboprop ATR 42-500s. The average age of its fleet is about 25 years.
Kam Air suffered a major blow early last year when up to 10 employees were killed in an attack on Kabul's Intercontinental hotel. About 40 of its pilots and aircrew, many of whom were foreigners, were staying in the hotel at the time.
World's safest airlines 2019
Ariana has a fleet of four aircraft – two Airbus A310-304s and two Boeing 737-4YOs.
Blue Wing is based in Surinam and, according to its website, "is specialised in fast and effective flight connections within the Caribbean". It has a Cessna Grand Caravan, a Cessna 206 and two DHC-6 Twin-Otters which can "easily carry 19 passengers in and out of any jungle airfield".
It experienced three crashes between 2008 and 2010, two of which included fatalities. It was subsequently placed on a European Union aviation blacklist.
Trigana Air flies out of Jakarta in Indonesia, and made headlines in 2015 when 54 people were killed after a ATR 42-300 twin-turboprop went down in the east of the country.
Airline safety in 2018
Fifteen separate plane crashes in 2018 resulted in 556 deaths, yet 2018 was the third-safest year in aviation history in terms of the number of fatal accidents and the ninth-safest in terms of lives lost, according to the Aviation Safety Network.
“If the accident rate had remained the same as ten years ago, there would have been 39 fatal accidents last year,” Aviation Safety Network’s chief executive, Harro Ranter, said.
“This shows the enormous progress in terms of safety in the past two decades.”
The deadliest accident last year was on October 29, when a Boeing 737 plane operated by Lion Air crashed off Indonesia killing all 189 people on board.
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