Airline ratings website, Skytrax, is renowned for unveiling the best airlines and airports in the world, but has now lifted the lid on the darker side of flying: the world’s worst airlines.
Just nine international carriers can boast full marks for being top quality airlines, and these are: ANA, Asiana, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.
There are 40 with four stars, including Virgin, Lufthansa, British Airways, Qantas and Emirates, and then another 107 with three stars, including Ryanair, United, Norwegian, and world’s largest carrier American Airlines.
And then there’s 21 airlines fall below that standard, according to Skytrax, with 20 scraping a measly two stars, and one – the very worst – clocking just one star from five. And this abomination of an airline is North Korean airline, Koryo Air. Congrats to these guys, who’ve taken out this title for the fifth consecutive year now.
According to The Telegraph London, passengers aboard this dud airline have described “perfunctory” emergency procedures, fizzy drinks that are “difficult to identify” and “uncomfortably loud” engine noise, while some of its oldest aircrafts feature cockpits without digital screens (is that even safe?) and seats that fold forward.
Some of the customer reviews include, “food is best left alone” and “they don’t pay attention to safety”, however many reviews actually back the airline, claiming it doesn’t deserve the one-star rating.
“I don’t know how things were in the past, but there is no current reason for a one star review. Flew from Beijing to Pyongyang,” said one reviewer.
“Yes, the inflight entertainment for the 2 hour flight was basically North Korean propaganda and magazines from North Korea – but surely if you are a tourist to North Korea that is exactly what you are interested in. The food was average. The service was perfectly passable.”
Here are the other 20 crappy airlines listed by Skytrax (in alphabetical order):
Slogan: “We don’t just fly there, we live there”
2. Biman Bangladesh Airlines
3. Bulgaria Air
4. China United Airlines
5. Cubana Airlines
Slogan: “Cuba’s Gateway to the World”
6. Iran Air
Slogan: “Our Mission is Your Safety” & “We Take You There, We Take You Back”
7. Lion Air
Slogan: “We Make People Fly”
8. Mahan Air
Slogan: “The Spirit of Excellence”
9. Nepal Airlines
10. Onur Air
Slogan: “Fly Turkey, Fly!”
11. Pegasus Airlines
Slogan: “We Didn’t Start Aviation In Turkey, But We Transformed It”
12. Rossiya Airlines
Based: St Petersburg
14. Spirit Airlines
Based: Miramar, Florida
Slogan: “Less Money, More Go”
15. Sudan Airways
17. Tajik Air
18. Turkmenistan Airlines
Slogan: “Symbol of Hospitality”
19. Ukraine International Airlines