Indonesian airlines' low safety ratings met with criticism.


New York (AirGuide - Inside Air Travel) Indonesian airline safety is under the spotlight again after, an independent plane safety and product rating website, named eight of the country's airlines as the least safe in the world. The rating, however, was met with skepticism from local carriers, which questioned the survey's parameters and the 407 major airlines it monitored. "INACA [the Indonesian National Air Carriers Association] seriously questions the criteria of the rating that was done by foreign media on aspects of national airline safety, considering there should be clear methodology that is measurable and accountable," the association stated on Wednesday following the release of the survey. Along with airlines from Nepal and Suriname, eight local airlines were considered the least safe, namely the biggest budget carrier Lion Air along with its full-service Batik Air and Wings Air; Citilink, the low-cost arm of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia; Kalstar Aviation; Sriwijaya Air; TransNusa; and Trigana Air Service. The airlines received zero or one star out of a maximum seven stars based on audits from aviation governing bodies such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) as well as whether the airlines had been certified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The survey also took into account whether airlines were on the EU's blacklist, government audits and fatality records. The safest airline was Australia's Qantas, with 148 of the airlines monitored getting the maximum seven-star safety ranking. "We don't really mind being graded, as long as it is done objectively, transparently and in an accountable way," Citilink president director and CEO Albert Burhan said, while comparing the results to a review of airlines and airports by UK-based consultancy Skytrax. Similarly, Lion Air public relations manager Andy M. Saladin questioned the rating method. Nonetheless, the ratings have served as a wake-up call for the airline industry. Indonesia's airline safety has been in the spotlight of late, particularly in 2015 when 14 airline-related incidents occurred with 208 fatalities, an increase from four accidents with 162 fatalities in the previous year, according to data compiled by airline consultant firm CSE Aviation. That included a Trigana Air accident in Oksibil, Papua, killing 54 passengers and crew. Former Indonesian Air Force chief of staff...

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