Flying Internationally? Check That Airline Out First!

Flying Internationally? Check That Airline Out First!


You’re planning a trip in the near future, one that will take you overseas to destinations not served by most US air carriers. Your safety concerns have been raised because the country where you’ll be flying around within doesn’t have a reputation for airline safety.

How can you confirm whether an airline is safe?

Christmas GiftWell, in a recently published article that answer may be just a couple of clicks away from being found out (The Wall Street Journal: How Safe Are International Airlines?). Thanks to work done by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union (EU) regulators, you should be able to discover something about that air carrier or country of origin. Moreover, the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has its own audit standards when it comes to safe flying as does the ICAO.


The FAA list is a bit different from the EU’s as the former identifies countries that do not meet acceptable aviation standards while the latter looks at specific airlines, maintaining a blacklist of more than two hundred air carriers.

The FAA has evaluated 101 countries and lists 79 as having Category 1 status (meets international standards) with 22 assigned to Category 2 (basically needing improvement). Not all airlines in Category 2 countries are banned, but new service and certain passenger-sharing ties are frozen.

The EU publishes a list of airlines banned from flying within the EU. That list is updated frequently and includes airlines from Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Gabon, Swaziland, Zambia, and elsewhere.

The IATA list is a bit different, showing only those airlines which are IATA members. To be an IATA member, airlines must be certified by the organization following an IOS or Operational Safety Audit conducted by them. IATA updates their list monthly and currently features 213 airlines.

IATA claims that its members have a 30-40% lower accident rate than non-members, obviously something that the international traveler will want to take into consideration when booking their next overseas flight.

Online Confirmation

You may also be able to confirm whether an airline is safe or not or at least gain first hand feedback by checking out various flying forums and communities for that information. and are among the sites offering passenger feedback on airlines the world over.

Adv. — If you’re planning to take a trip involving air travel, then please visit, your discount travel and vacation center, for flight information and free travel guides.


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Categories: Travel Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".