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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 January, 2004, 11:52 GMT
Should airlines' records stay secret?

A list of airlines from eight countries which are banned from flying in UK air space has been published.

All airlines operating from Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Liberia and Tajikistan have been banned.

The others on the blacklist are Sierra Leone's Star Air and Air Universal, Cameroon Airlines, Albanian Airlines and Central Air Express, from DR Congo.

The naming follows the Flash Airline crash in Egypt last week, and the revelation the Swiss had banned Flash.

Two airlines banned or restricted in at least one other European country in 2002 because of poor safety records were still flying from the UK in last year.

Should airlines' safety records be available? Do you feel safe to fly?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

I fly in excess of 150,000 miles per year and yes I very firmly concur that the public has a right to know the safety records and results of safety checks. It is possible to see the safety records of businesses in other industries, why not the airline industry?
Kerry Karvas, Moscow, Russia

Certainly not. I had the misfortune to fly with an airline in summer 2002, whose flights were subsequently subjected to intense CAA inspection before they were finally not allowed to land in the UK. This was widely reported in the national media at the time. I had no knowledge of their record or performance beforehand: if I had know I would never have flown with them.
Darren Stephens, Whitby, UK

Any more detail than Airline C or D is banned will lead to knee jerk reactions and companies collapsing
Tom Cooper, Cornwall, UK
I don't believe the general public are intelligent enough to make a rational decision based on all the detailed safety evidence. The aviation authorities should take all the safety records and make an informed decision of which airlines are banned, then tell the public. Any more detail than Airline C or D is banned will lead to knee jerk reactions and companies collapsing.
Tom Cooper, Cornwall, UK

What possible reason can there be for withholding such information? The F.O. will tell you what countries are a risk to visit, what is so special about airlines? Those airlines that do comply with all the safety requirements should benefit from people knowing who does not.
C Bennett, Swansea Wales

The airline industry has put profits before safety during its whole history. Not only should safety records be public, but governments should be tougher on forcing airlines to accept new safety developments. At the moment the industry regulates itself too much, and ignores any safety developments which might be too expensive.
James, Peterborough, UK

How come this information can be revealed for shipping but not aviation? The list of ships detained by inspectors and the reasons for those detentions are published every month in the UK.
Matt, UK

Certainly! The people have the right to know and choose the airline that is safe for them. Failure to not having such information will pause a seamless sense of insecurity on the airline users, which is absolutely not very good.
Pandawe Nguesso, Lusaka, Zambia.

Of course we should be made aware of unsafe airlines, I am a pilot and work to very strict rules of safety. Passengers knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes is very limited they need protection and information.
Frances Gregoriou, Oakham, England

Passengers by all means have the right to know. Then it'll be up to them to fly those airlines.
Patricia, Plantation, FL. USA

No. They should follow the lead of the maritime industry. Deficiencies found by government inspectors (now almost worldwide) are available to anyone wishing to enquire on the net at Equasis. Major deficiencies result in the ship being detained until it is resolved. The history of that operator, and ship, is now recorded. Why not the same for aircraft?
Andrew Westcott-Weaver, Portishead, UK

Of course it should be know to all. There should be a website to see all the names of the banned airlines.
Anette Stintman, Dubai, UAE

Airlines should be encouraged to boast about good safety records
Margaret, Portland, USA
Airlines safety records should never be kept from the paying public. We have a right to know such an important piece of information. In fact, airlines should be encouraged to boast about good safety records.
Margaret, Portland, USA

I think that consumers have a right to this information. At least that way passengers are making an informed choice when stepping on board an aircraft and essentially trusting these people with your life.
Nikos, Athens, Greece

If a child's toy is found to be faulty and dangerous to children, it is withdrawn from the market - the product is unfit for the purpose it was made. If an airline is using faulty aircraft, similarly the services should be withdrawn and it should be brought to the notice of consumers.
Jenny, UK

No, they should not. Passengers have the right to know which airlines are not considered safe, for whatever reason. If governments make laws then they can also 'unmake' them in the interests of public safety.
Lynne Vicinanza, Desenzano del Garda Italy

There will always be a risk to flying, as there is with any mode of transport. All we can do is try to minimise those risks. To do that, we need information. To deny us this information is to put the interests of big business before the people. That is totally unacceptable. The relevant Minister should reveal all, or consider his position.
Brian Hill, Bangkok Thailand

Is there a case for all safety records to be made available to the public, not just for airlines? Governments wax lyrical about concern for safety but still conceal the critical information from the people who need it most. It seems that the view that the public is not adult enough to deal with the data is still prevalent.
Kevin Lindborg, Royston, England

I concur totally with the overwhelming majority clamouring for free public access. I must be in a position to avoid boarding, anywhere in the world, any aircraft already banned e.g. by Switzerland. And so should everyone else.
Pierre Maes, Brussels, Belgium

It is imperative that airlines with safety violations be exposed to the world to avoid unnecessary human causalities.
Ndidi Enebeli, Toronto, Canada

I am all for naming and shaming anyone who puts making money before a human life
Marie Coulter, London, United Kingdom
I think it is abhorrent that airline records are kept secret and plan to stay that way, when the only reason they are in the air is because of the Jo Public that fly on them! Maybe if the rogue airlines are forced to keep safety checks as a no.1 priority through global identification if they do not, surely that can only benefit the airline industry and give us consumers a bit more trust in an industry that is already on shaky ground. I am all for naming and shaming anyone who puts making money before a human life. Shame on them.
Marie Coulter, London, United Kingdom

One of the number one functions of a state is to protect the life of its citizens. By keeping this kind of information is in no way protecting anybody. People need not to know only the list of these airlines, but also why they are banned.
Manding Kanteh, Marylan, USA

Absolutely not! When it's my own life at stake I want the odds of surviving a plane ride to be in my favour. By protecting those airlines who are unsafe puts a black mark on the industry as a whole.
Charles , Montreal, Canada

Absolutely not! The customers have the right to know what's going on. They have the right to know which kind of "journey" are going to venture. I'm astonished we could not know that so far.
Sonia Mari, Milano, Italy

Governments are elected to serve the people. Safety records of airlines are of public interest. Of course they should be public!
Peter Richmond, Norwich UK

I think that it is absolutely outrageous that information on banned airlines not only in the UK but for all countries is not publicly available. I am sure those who were on the Flash Aircraft last week would have made different choices if they had been aware that they had been banned due to safety concerns.
A McGurk, Lochgelly, Scotland

Any company success made by evading safety of any kind is a criminal act
Jaeschke, Offenburg, Germany
As a former airline pilot I do in fact expect airlines to constantly be in compliance with all safety regulations. Only that this should not be restricted to regulations as such but also to common sense behaviours of the flight crew, the cabin crew, the maintenance people, the administration people including everybody from the outside having some impact on the safe conduct of flight operations. Airlines should be named and this made public, should misconduct be recorded. Any company success made by evading safety of any kind is a criminal act and must be punished. NO EXEPTIONS.
Jaeschke, Offenburg, Germany

What is the point in banning these airlines if it is not known that they are banned?
Katharine Evans, Rome, Italy

Considering airlines make their living off a public facility like an airport, they have little right to make anything secret, especially matters concerning safety.
Andy, USA

Information about safety of airlines, like for instance the age of the aircrafts etc, should always be accessible to the public. After clear and open information, people can decide themselves what risks they are willing to take when flying.
Barbara Brena, Stockholm, Sweden

The names of airlines with poor safety records should be made public so that people can book a ticket on safer airline. Crash records and numbers of people killed should also be on an airlines' website. Only when security will become a commercial issue, airlines will realize and care of lives of consumer.
Sanjeev Manral, Seoul

Name and shame that's what I say
Amanda, London
Name and shame that's what I say! I travel every week and I'd like to know what airlines are on that blacklist. A lot of innocent children lost theirs lives. Car, toy manufacturers etc. have to inform the public of defects so why should airlines be any different? I bet the people in the know haven't kept the information a secret from there family and friends.
Amanda, London

And there was I thinking that all aircraft in the air would have passed all relevant certifications of airworthiness otherwise we would not be allowed to travel in them. As a very frequent business and leisure traveller, I am dismayed that the authorities act in such a cavalier way. As with most other forms of public transport it is the duty of every country to heed the warnings of others and ground unsafe aircraft - the risks are simply too huge.

Once again I find that the UK has no backbone on the matter and is allowing unsafe airlines to use its airports and endanger lives. With the information they have, I believe the people who not act on it should made personally and criminally liable for not acting and forewarning the public. That might just get them to do their jobs properly.
Nigel, London, UK

Safety comes before anything
Roderick McLean, Manila, Philippines
The information should be made public. I have been an Licensed Aircraft Engineer for the last 39 years. I was brought up to believe that safety comes before anything. Now I understand that as a result of some Euro bureaucracy I could unwittingly board an aircraft considered by a European Airworthiness Authority as unsafe. This is a disgraceful situation. The MPs must take immediate action on this.
Roderick McLean, Manila, Philippines

People don't need to know about an airline's safety record. They shouldn't need to. If something isn't safe then it shouldn't be flying in the first place which eradicates the whole need for anyone needing to know!
Dave, Nottinghamshire, England

Enough of this secrecy. People's lives are being lost while airlines try to keep hazards quiet. The world is secrecy and terrorism mad!
Marian Rumens, Flagstone Creek Australia

If a person in the workplace failed to disclose information about a known risk, and someone died as a result, they would be prosecuted under Health and Safety law. In contrast this information, which could save hundreds of lives, is kept from the public and no one is brought to task over this.
David, Liverpool

Cars are regularly tested and rated for safety, and the results published. Given that the consequences of an aircraft or an airline having poor safety are so much more devastating, there is no excuse for keeping such information secret.
Andrew, Leeds, England

It is ludicrous that a taxi driver running on worn tires can be charged and placed on public record, yet non-complying, potentially dangerous airlines posing a risk to hundreds or thousands are protected by the law from public scrutiny. Sounds like fat wallets at work.
Tom Appleby, Ottawa Canada

Commercial confidentiality is a cover for too many sins.
Leofranc, Oxford, England

Exactly who benefits from keeping the information secret? Not consumers
Helen, UK
I have every right to know whether or not I am boarding a safe airline. Exactly who benefits from keeping the information secret? Not consumers, (who may be taking a risk that they otherwise would not) and neither will the airlines, since unless their profits suffer as a result, they will have no incentive to improve their safety record.
Helen, UK

Without a doubt, airline safety records should indeed be made available to anyone who wishes to access them. We are supposed to live in a democratic country, so shouldn't everyone be able to make a well informed decision about whether to fly on a certain airline? Over the past couple of years, fears of flying have heightened and there will be a greater demand from the public to know that they are safe when they fly. I cannot believe that this kind of information is not available, in an industry which ultimately responsible for ensuring the safety of millions of people.
Stacey Harriss, Bournemouth, UK

I believe the records should stay secret - if they didn't, nobody would ever fly! Nevertheless, unsafe airlines should be grounded.
Isabelle Ringing, London

All airline detentions and bans should be listed by the appropriate authorities. This is already used in the shipping in industry and provides a method of regulation and knowledge about an operator's standards of service. Surely the customer has the choice over what airline they choose based on price, safety and quality, this information will aid that choice.
Colin, Glasgow

If the defects have not been remedied within a very short time then of course the airlines should be named and shamed.
Guy Chapman, Reading, UK

It seems the other major issue here is that all countries subject aircraft and airlines to different standards of safety checks (even within the EU. If all countries complied with one regulated safety test/check then it may be easier and more understandable if the safety records were released to the public.
Fiona, Hong Kong

Many of decisions taken in everyday life are based on the notion of acceptable risk. Surely it is wrong to withhold information which would allow one to make informed decisions, particularly in respect of choice of airline.
Peter Mellon, Cairo, Egypt

Flight safety records should not only be easily accessible, but all airlines should be forced to inform passengers of their safety record when booking a flight. Would the poor passengers of this flight boarded the plane if the airline had been forced to inform them of the Swiss ban before they booked? I think not.
Floyd, Manchester, UK

Records should be open for consumers to review. This is government regulation of a product - information. When governments regulate, consumers often lose.
Heath Clarke, California

Anything deemed unsafe by even one nation should be made available for public consumption
Maria, Vilnius
Anything deemed unsafe by even one nation should be made available for public consumption. There needs to be an international standard of assessment so that planes cannot "pass" in one country after failing in another. The lack of honesty to the consumers is astounding.
Maria, Vilnius

Just as motor vehicles are required to have regular mechanical (so called 'safety' inspections) in many countries, so should all aircraft - not only commercial types. The European organisation for recording such aircraft inspections has recorded less than 3,500 inspections during 2002, out of the several tens of thousand aircraft flying our skies. Unfortunately some European countries did not perform any inspections in the last three years.
Les Thorley, Athens, Greece

If it is down to the countries who have banned the airlines to name them, how does our Government know who they are? I take it to mean that those countries have already informed our Government, and now they are under an obligation to inform its citizens.
John, London

No! Airline airworthiness records should be in the public domain and should be readily available for public inspection. Airworthiness is fundamental to safety - we have a saying in aviation: Take-offs are optional but landings are compulsory!
Mel Quick, Arundel, UK

Not safe but still allowed to operate! Then make all politicians use them for their business trips instead of a safe airline. Who carries the can if one crashes knowing that they have an unsafe record?
Alan Townend, Munich, Germany

I would expect that if one European country (EU or not) bans an airline(r) from its airspace, then that information should be freely available to all European citizens. Whilst some information is kept secret in the national interest, this is not an argument that holds for this information. If a Government denies its people the option of flying with any airline(r) by banning it, do they not have a responsibility to their electorate to say which and why?
Kevin, Birmingham, England

As a licensed engineer and 45 years in the aviation industry, I believe that all relevant aircraft information should be made available.
Bob Heyhoe, Macclesfield UK

There cannot be any acceptable reason for not fully informing the travelling public. Perhaps to facilitate flexibility of charterers, a rating could be given to airplane operators, available to tour operators, and them published in brochures "A": never had a single problem; "B": had a problem in the past, but completely free of any problem over 5 years since corrective action; "C": have had a recent problem but have taken internationally certified action; and "D": are presently in an open problem file situation somewhere in the world.
Jon, Paris, France

This is completely unacceptable. Why do the government think that denying safety information will benefit the public. I would question the legality of this action. Does this mean that the French families can now sue the French and European governments for not making this information available?
Ray, Edinburgh, Scotland

Surely this is our basic right!
Carol Brown, Adelaide South Australia
The more I hear about the secrecy and protection of the airline industry the less I feel safe in the air. Not only does the public have terrorists to contend with but also the self serving nature of government and airlines which by some kind of self-regulation are allowed to choose what they would class as "acceptable" risks with people's lives. The names of banned airlines need to be released so that the public has a choice as to whether to risk their lives or not. Surely this is our basic right!
Carol Brown, Adelaide South Australia

Of course, all details on safety issues should be made available. The reasons for not doing so relate purely and exclusively to the protection of shareholder profit. That such records are withheld is wholly disgusting but entirely predictable.
Dr Phil Robertshaw, Poynton, Cheshire

In any democratic society, Safety should be the number one concern over profits and competitiveness. The public has a right to know about any level of risk, and this should extend to all forms of transport.
Nigel Smith, Geneva, Switzerland

The airline records have to be made public, as the public pays for the ticket and has the right to know if the airplane is reputable or not! This hidden hypocrisy should stop once and for all!
Rolf Zeijdel, Keerbergen, Belgium

The public has a right to know which airlines don't conform to safety regulations. I wouldn't want to fly on any airline that has a bad reputation for safety and would be outraged if their history was kept secret. Travellers have a right to protect themselves against airlines with poor safety records by declining to fly with them.
Patricia Martchenko, Toronto, Canada

The damning fact is that it will only take an accident involving significant numbers of Britons for the Government to get off their backsides and do anything.
Colin Field, Amersham, England

This is outrageous. Of course we have the right to know. If an airline is banned by a country, this information should be shared with travel agents and it should be clearly indicated on the passenger ticket. The key to safety is vigilance. All citizens of all countries should write to the transportation ministries and departments to voice concern.
Linda, Toronto, Canada

Passengers' safety must be our first priority!
Grazyna, London, UK
All passengers have a right to know what risks do they undertake choosing services for their future travel; be that airplanes, trains or any other means of transport? There is no doubt in my mind: passengers' safety must be our first priority!
Grazyna, London, UK

There is little doubt as to the correct course of action. Unless the information is protected by confidentiality laws, which appears here not to be the case, governments are duty-bound to provide their citizens with the names of companies that have been sanctioned or banned in other countries, preferably together with enough background information (nature and severity of the violations) to provide context. Any other governmental stance is irresponsible and begs the question of who is paying whom off to keep silent.
Chris, US

All information that has the potential to seriously harm an individual should not be secret. Doctors records of malpractice, faulty tire manufacture, faulty auto design and other product safety issues, and of course safety records concerning airlines. Anyone who advocates keeping this sort of information secret either has a vested interest, is a bureaucrat covering deficiencies in laws and regulations, or has a screw loose. Albert Scott Newburyport, Mass.
Albert Scott, Newburyport, Mass. USA

Please inform the public of the banned airlines. All of us are extremely scared about such incidents. Even if we all race for a 'cheaper flight' we the users still need to have the power to set the standards for all unorthodox companies saving on our security.
Chris Diassitis, Weiterstadt, Germany

This information should be public knowledge and I am astounded it isn't already.
Nicola, London

I think, they should not be secret. But also, we should not forget that driving a car is even more dangerous than anything else in traffic. And: do you really think that it is possible to fly to Egypt and have your hotel room there at a price of about 400 Euro? If everything is so cheap - why should the airline be the best of all?
Mark, Berne, Switzerland

If banned airplanes are not published, I will require that the airplane I fly in to show me it is safe and not banned anywhere.
Jalal Al Zawahri, USA

Any plane passing UK Checks is fine for me
Craig Roberts, Southampton
I don't believe these records should be "Secret" however I believe discretion is required in releasing the information. A public record of ALL inspections on aircraft should be made available. That way you are able to see what the problems were related to the ban of an Aircraft, and if they have been fixed. I believe that if an aircraft is banned in one country all others should take note and perform their own safety checks on it. Any plane passing UK Checks is fine for me, as I hear they are some of the toughest in the world.
Craig Roberts, Southampton

Definitely. It is dereliction of duty for regulatory agencies to do otherwise. Two reasons: It allows passengers to select the safest alternative, and it will keep airlines accountable.
R. Bosch, Grand Rapids, MI USA

Unsafe aircraft should not be flying. I should be able to trust the regulatory bodies to ensure they are not flying. If a company is consistently breaching or trying to breach safety regulations then they should be grounded. If this is not being done the public should be made aware. Let's face it if I'm going away somewhere I'd like to go on a airline that has a good record and so would everyone else, thus creating a strong incentive for the shoddy to improve.
Roy Prescott, Smiths Falls Ontario Canada

It is a disgrace that our MP's are not prepared to share important information about our safety with us.
Steve Hollyhead, Stroud

Of course airline safety records should not be kept secret. It is incredible that Governments interfere with out privacy and civil liberties in the name of security yet refuse to make available data as to which carriers are putting our lives at risk! What kind of logic is that?
Andrew, Feira - Portugal

I think everyone has a right to know which airlines are performing badly and are not maintaining aircraft properly
Richard Williams, Buxton, England
I think everyone has a right to know which airlines are performing badly and are not maintaining aircraft properly etc, because then people can AVOID THEM. I also think it's silly that we 'wait' until another plane crash happens until we start taking action. I think that the governments of whatever the nationality of the poor performing airline should see that they enforce better maintenance and sort themselves out before anything like that Flash Airlines disaster has a chance to happen, or stop them flying at all.

If people had checked the Flash airlines planes over properly after reports that the aircraft were insufficient and even banned from flying in Swiss airspace, they could have found any kind of pending failure and sorted it out so that the crash never happened, and all those whole families and 148 people weren't killed so traumatically
Richard Williams, Buxton, England

Any doubts about airlines and aircraft should be fully and publicly aired - it's terrifying that aircraft with question marks are even allowed to leave the ground - never mind that they are still plying for trade in countries with less stringent standards. People should certainly have the choice and any of the bigger airlines that do worldwide deals with smaller companies with possibly less well-maintained aircraft - should be obliged to put the names of the aircraft company they've done business with on the tickets for the legs of the trip not covered by its own aircraft.
Sar, Belgium

Unless it is a specific standard that is agreed and by all countries I do not see the need for companies to be named
William, London
Yes, this information should be withheld. I do not know anything about planes, but I do work for a company that sells products in a number of different countries inside and outside Europe - and there is a large number of differences between countries on what is required for a product to be considered safe for sale. Unless it is a specific standard that is agreed and enforced by all countries I do not see the need for companies that have failed a single country's safe tests to be named and shamed when they could still easy be complying with the requirements for the countries they are flying to and from.
William, London, UK

It is possible to find out which airlines have been banned. For example, if Belgium has banned one airline, get a list of all the airlines flying into Brussels this month. That information is publicly available because all airlines/travel operators want to advertise. Now compare that list with a similar list from January last year, or the year before. What is important is then the differences between the lists. Then check to see if an airline has stopped flying to Brussels but is still flying to other places. This all helps narrow down the search. Soon we could have a relatively short list of airlines and we could start questioning them directly.
Simon, Derby, U.K.

I feel strongly enough about this to write to my MP. No EU government should have the right to withhold this sort of information. I've flown on some "1 plane" airlines with names non of my friends have heard about. Should I now presume that one of these *could* have been banned from flying elsewhere? It is not only in our interests as passengers, but in the interests of non-banned small airlines to have this information public!
Nick, Wigan, UK

Publication could lead to disastrous consequences if the information happens to be incorrect or ambiguous
Gunnar J Heinonen, Grankulla, Finland
On some reflection - yes I think they should stay secret. We all know how information can be misused nowadays and publication could lead to disastrous consequences if the information happens to be incorrect or ambiguous. However, much more responsibility ought to be given to Civil Aviation Authorities (or whoever grants air traffic permissions)in order to make sure that information is available between them and that necessary steps are taken when, i.e. a country questions the reliability of an airline.
Gunnar J Heinonen, Grankulla, Finland

No - all airline records should be in the public Domain. If we say and present that we have democracy then why should the public who use this private/ public services not be aware of the safety records?
Lakis Tolias, London England

The government produces hospital league tables detailing complication rates. This should apply to airlines too. This would allow the public to make informed decisions as to which airline they can feel confident to fly with.
Richard Makins, London

I think this information should not be withheld from the public. It is much more than a customer issue and could also endanger people on "safe" airlines and people living near airports if unsafe airplanes are allowed to operate.
Steve Graham, Germany

Of course they should not be secret - who do they think they are!? Playing with people's lives to maximise profits is the totally unacceptable face of capitalism. Get it out in the open so we, the people, can judge......
Peter L Keen, Chichester England

Nothing demonstrates more clearly the failure of the ideals of the EU than the inability of governments to publicise these details. Take this out of the hands of governments, and have the EU reveal the identities of all airlines that are refused to fly anywhere in the world. Then perhaps the EU will be seen to serve a useful purpose.
John Airey, UK

Airlines should provide - in *writing* - an assurance that they are not banned from any countries
Andrew Nicholson, Milton Keynes, UK
My suggestion would be getting the Airlines to provide - in *writing* - an assurance that they are not banned from any countries (for safety reasons), before agreeing to purchase the ticket...That way you could find out without having to ask the respective governments....plus if it later transpires they have been banned, I would imagine you could sue.
Andrew Nicholson, Milton Keynes, UK

I wonder who are the most corrupt and incompetent, the airlines with such a poor safety and maintenance record that they get banned or governments who deliberately suppress this information! What's the point in funding governments to protect our safety and interest if they deliberately hide the very information we are paying them to find?
David Price, UK

Definitely! Safety is the primary concern that passengers consider when choosing an airline. When we are not provided with full information about the airline's safety record, we are robbed of our right to make informed decisions. Airline safety should not be treated as a option, it is a must!
Janet Paulin, Philippines/Australia

Clearly this information should be made available, but the reaction of many in this forum seems over the top. Uninsured drivers in unsafe cars represent a far higher risk to the travelling public, but attract none of the publicity.
John, England

If 5 car companies produced cars that explode, would the public be told? Absolutely! I fail to see the difference here. Who is protecting whom, and for what gain or purpose? Why do dead passengers not matter to businesses? Should we just refuse to fly until we are given this information?
Susan, London, UK

Safety records are changing all the time, I don't see the point of releasing the information
Tom, Luton, UK
It is quite easy to guess the identities of dodgy airlines. Look at main hubs like Heathrow, Schipol, and Athens, and check if your airline goes to all of them. If not, it is either highly parochial, as with many airlines flying only to Athens, or suspect or both. Since safety records are changing all the time, I don't see the point of releasing the information. Let's face it, aircraft are incredibly safe. You are thousands of times more likely to die driving your car than flying for your summer holiday. Yet hardly anybody buys a car on its safety record.
Tom, Luton, UK

Of course we should have access to this information. What parent would put their child on a plane if they knew that that company had a poor safety record?
Nik, UK

Unless airline records remain secret, how will unsafe, bad managed, overpriced airlines with poor service suppose to stay in business?
Mark, USA

Flying on an unsafe airline is as equally bad as terrorism. Why should not the details be disclosed when we have all the terrorists' details put up on web like the CIA, FBI sites????
Vijay, Hyderabad, India

We have a right to know which air services have poor safety records
Barry Palmer, Otsu, Japan
It is disgusting that passengers are being denied this information. We have a right to know which air services have poor safety records so that we can refuse to fly on them. Perhaps that way the companies concerned would either shape up or ship out!
Barry Palmer, Otsu, Japan

Unbelievable that such information is withheld from the travelling public. Somewhat more important than knowing whether your hotel has baths or showers, I would think. This is dirty dealing, and I am just sad that it has taken such a tragedy to reveal it.
Sue Roberts, Bristol, UK

The airline industry is being damaged enough by terrorist threats and actions, without our governments contributing to the downturn by withholding this info. If they have been banned, all should know. The best way may be to ask the national agencies responsible for air safety who they have banned from their air space and compiling a list yourselves.
John, Bolton, UK

Their details should be made public. As a consumer I have the right to know an airline's safety record as part of my buying decision when deciding who to fly with.
Louise, Sydney, Australia

There should be a register that the public can refer to. This information being made public will soon allow market forces to weed out the cowboys. In the age of the internet it would be easy to make this accessible to all. Maybe we should insist all airlines have a page on their sites showing their latest inspection ratings. Hotels have the star system!!
Rama Mistry, UK

I think we do have a right to know, but then some people will still fly with them if fares are cheap enough. We have become a nation of people crying out for cheaper and cheaper things.

The only fair way is to name the airlines and clearly state the reasons why they have that reputation
Jenny, Scotland
The only fair way is to name the airlines and clearly state the reasons why they have that reputation. Yes, it will potentially cost jobs and increase fares, but we should be able to make decisions in the face of the facts. Possibly even more important is that families and friends won't be bereaved and the search and rescue organisations won't have the horrendous trauma of dealing with the aftermath.
Jenny, Scotland

I think if we don't find out who the bad ones are then all the airlines will be tarred with this brush!
Graham, UK

This is just another hidden fact in a long list of things that the airline industry would like to keep hidden from the public. If the public knew about the subsidies, the pollution levels, the tax avoidance of the airlines they would refuse to fly. I know that aviation is true "graveyard" technology, i.e. nothing gets done unless someone dies, but this is disgusting.
Vish, UK

Heavens no. Safety records should be published. On time performance should be published. Keeping information from passengers endangers lives.
Jake, US

Playing with people's lives to protect unsatisfactory business practice is totally unacceptable. Any organisation with this information has a duty to society to place it in the public domain.
D. Miller, Durham, UK

Of course we should know about these airlines, even if it does make them go out of business. If they do not have the funds to maintain their aircraft to CAA standards then they should not be in the air at all, anywhere in the world.
Gareth, Woodstock

As a frequent flyer I believe it is imperative that we have the right to know who these airlines are. I am a nervous flyer and am now very scared to climb on to just any airline. Who knows what records that airline could have!
James Sleater, London, England

Absolutely! The Public has a right to know and know exactly what it is that is causing the airline to be banned from any country. I hope the anger of the travelling public will force this info to be revealed.
Mr. D. Anderson,

It is outrageous that this information is being kept from the public, we are paying and we have a right to know the safety record of the airline we are boarding. If this will cause an embarrassment for the airline then too bad, they should pass all the safety regulations or not be allowed to fly.
Colin Hills, Stuttgart, Germany

In a word, "YES." Perhaps if these ill-fated passengers had received this information, many would have selected another airline. Consumer pressure can lead a company to update its safety equipment and regain access to these customers in the future. If the consumer does not know, however, it will take a catastrophic event such as this, major litigation and even bankruptcy to make a company change its ways.
Heather B., USA

Yes, all safety records for all airlines that are used by the public should be freely available in detail. They should include not only the problems and date found but also the date that they were properly corrected. Is there a difference in boarding a plane that has an armed terrorist aboard or one that is totally unsafe for flight? I'm sure the relatives of the recent Flash Airlines disaster could raise that question with justification.
Ivy Brandon, Columbus, USA

It's inconceivable that in this day and age passengers don't have access to that information
Anthony Taylor, Manchester, UK
All safety information should be available. It's inconceivable that in this day and age passengers don't have access to that information. Car manufacturers have to publicise their crash test rating so why shouldn't airlines have their safety records made public and ranked?
Anthony Taylor, Manchester, UK

An airline should have a specified period of time, i.e. 6 months, to correct the issues which caused the ban. After that the airline name should be published by the EU or other responsible agency. If the defects from the first ban are subsequently corrected the airline's name can be removed from the published list. A subsequent ban would result in a permanent listing.
Paul Ratner, New York, NY

It is a disgrace not to warn the travelling public about unsafe airlines.
Mrs. Ingrid Pennelli, George Town, Grand Cayman Island, B.W.I.

While there should be availability of such information it would be very difficult for the average person, when booking a flight, to learn the exact plane they will be boarding at the time of departure. Mechanical and other problems with an originally scheduled plane would cause the airlines to bring in a back up plane. I think the more important question is what standards the Swiss use that would keep 23 planes flying their airspace whilst almost every other government in Europe had no problem with them?
Gregg Barkley, Mechanicsville, Va, USA

Withholding information that can lead to the injury and/or loss of life, particularly of civilians, should carry universal criminal liability. There should be full and public disclosure of all safety records, readily available to the public.
John Pace, Sydney, Australia

Once again commercial considerations come before human lives. How many more people have to die before the airlines flying death trap planes are forced to properly maintain their fleet or be put out of business. Easy Jet et al have proved that you can run a properly maintained fleet of planes and still have rock bottom prices so there is no need to cut corners to keep costs down.
Michael Amvrosiou, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire

Of course I want to know about airline safety records. When it is only a collection of nuts and bolts separating you and your loved ones from certain death an informed choice is paramount.
Stephen, Tahoe City, USA

When the safety shortcomings are severe enough to implement a ban on a certain air carrier, there is no excuse for not posting the information in the public domain. The travelling public has a right to know such information.
Kris Mani, Basking Ridge, NJ USA

I am really shocked about such black list! Yes, I think people should know this information. There are many arguments for me.
- We know how much nicotine is in cigarettes, why we don't know how safety is our plane?
- We know and can decide which car to buy, safer or cheaper, why there is difference in air tickets?
- At last we live in democratic society. Airlines must inform their passengers about safety, because during the flight they control our lives.
Anton Aleksandrov, Riga, Latvia

I want the info as I consider my life more valuable than any commercial assets any company may have
E. Rongen, Utrecht - Netherlands
If I ask for the info I want no excuses that that information is commercially sensitive: I want the info as I consider my life more valuable than any commercial assets any company may have. If I do not get the info I want and anything happens (like the Red Sea crash for instance) I will personally take my revenge upon those that refused to give me all the information I asked for. I hope many, many more people will take the same attitude.
E. Rongen, Utrecht - Netherlands

Withholding airline safety information of this kind is absurd and surreal. Such information ought to be aggressively published and broadcast. Let the marketplace hold substandard operators accountable: if an airline is unsafe, it will rapidly lose its customer base. It will then either have to correct itself or go out of business.
Lee Van Laer, Sparkill, NY

If public authorities have information that can rightfully save the life of passengers, simply by avoiding bookings on unsafe airlines, it seems to be their duty to disclose it.
B.Hannecart, Brussels - Belgium

Any government agent who fails to reveal this information, has violated his/her fiduciary responsibility and is guilty of criminal negligence in the death of the planes passengers.
Russell MacLeod Middleton, University of Stirling, Scotland

Safety is the most important concern when you are flying and I believe passengers should have full information about the airlines before selecting it just like you select airlines on the basis of fares and schedule.
Arun Madan, Toronto, Canada


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