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Photo: Adrian Pingstone

The Hamburg-based company JACDEC have announced the safest airline in the world after having ranked 800 carriers in 178 countries and regions.

The title was awarded to the Finnish flag carrier, Finnair, who in November this year can celebrate their 50th anniversary as an airline without any casualties.

JACDEC stands for Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre and has been doing its audits for 36 years. They don’t only measures the number of air crashes, but also takes into account damage to aircrafts and other incidents, all in relation to the number of passengers.

The relatively new airlines in the international market, such as Etihad and Emirates, have a slight advantage as they are not burdened by statistics as far as 36 years back.

Finnair’s last fatality occurred in 1963, 13 years before JACDEC began keeping statistics. In November 1963 an aircraft of the type OH-LCA crashed near the archipelago of Åland. 22 passengers and the entire crew perished.

The top 10 safest airlines in the world

1. Finnair

2. Air New Zealand

3. Cathay Pacific

4. Emirates

5. Etihad

6. Eva Air (Taiwan)

7. TAP (Portugal)

8. Hainan Airlines

9. Virgin Australia

10. British Airways

A question I often get from friends and readers are about low-cost airlines.
How can they be so cheap comparing to regular airlines and how do they make their money?

I hope this infographic can answer most of the questions you have

(Click on the image for larger version)

airlines how come cheap arilines are so cheap

In todays hard competition between the flag carriers and alliances not to mention against the low-cost airlines, some airlines have found their own niche on flight routes. The connections might sound strange but they are there because there is a market for it and the airlines make money on it as well.

Here are 5 examples of “odd” flight routes that some airlines have specialized themselves in for various reasons.

1) Birmingham, UK – Amritsar, India

Armavia, Armenias flag carrier, have found a niche on flying the Shiks from U.K to Amritsar, India which holds the  Sikhism’s spiritual center. All with a stopover in Armenia on the way . Birmingham has a huge Shik population.

2) Houston, US – Lagos, Nigeria

United Airlines started trafficking the leg between Texas and Nigeria on a five times a week schedule last year. This after requests from local oil companies that have interest on both sides and also have contracts with the airline.

3) Baku, Azerbaijan – Aberdeen, Scotland

A highly unlikely leg that is today flown by the flag carrier Azerbaijan Airlines.
Yet again in the interest of the oil industry as Baku has emerged as a large oil hub and Aberdeen is the oil capital of Europe.

4) Paris, France – Cincinnati, US

Delta Air Lines is trafficking this international route for one reason only.
The money is made on cargo.
4.2 million pounds of jet-engine parts is transported every year between factories that are situated near the cities.

5) Stockholm, Sweden – Erbil, Iraq

In 2010 a tour operator in Kurdistan, part of Iraq, pointed out the large Kurdish population that was living in Germany.
Germania, a German operator is now flying eight time a week to the cities of  Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in Iraq from Munich, Düsseldorf and Stockholm. The flights to Iraq are 90% full comparing to the carriers average of 83%.

With the world we live in and the amount of air travellers in the sky each year you are sooner or later bound to end up in some airports that have funny names.  A personal favourite of mine is Batman Airport (BAL) situated in the middle of Turkey. If you have flown to France you might have connected in Brest Airport (BES) or during your travels in Indonesia come across Fak Fak Airport (FKQ)

The list can be made long but then there are the airports that have names that doesn’t really make any sense at all or just sounds strange. Here are 10 of them.

1. Wuhu Airport (WHU), China

2. Xingning Airport (XIN), China

3. Wagga Wagga Airport (WGA), Australia

4. Woodie Woodie Airport (WWI), Australia

5. Wee Waa Airport (WEW), Australia

6. Puka Puka Airport (PZK), Cook Islands

7. Flin Flon Airport (YFO), Canada

8. Gorom-Gorom Airport (XGG), Burkina Faso

9. Linga Linga Airport (LGN), Papua New Guinea

10. Kar Kar Airport (KRX), Papua New Guinea


Vaclav Havel airport, Prague

Vaclav Havel airport, Prague

You wanna buy flight tickets for the upcoming christmas holidays but have decided to wait to see if the prices fall?

When it comes to bigger holidays there is really nothing to be gained by waiting to buy the tickets as the rule of the thumb is for regular carriers unless they have decided to release a special deal. But to be completely honest I have noticed a significant decrease of mails in my inbox from airlines advertising their “special” offers. Around holidays people will buy tickets anyway.

What will waiting cost you?

  • Add about 4€/$5 per day: For tickets booked from late November to second week in December
  • Add about 8€/$10 per day: For tickets booked after second week in December

Usually it is the date 18th December when airlines are selling their “cheap” tickets and the following day on the 19th December the ticket price will skyrocket with an average of 30 to 70% as the late birds always have to pay more. The rise in price is of course dependant on routes and cities.  Another rule of thumb here is the longer the flight is, the higher price you will pay. Flights that are an hour or less usually don’t have such an increase in prices.

Cheapest day of flying?

As you probably already have figured out the most popular days to fly are also the most expensive.
Generally the cheapest days of flying during christmas holidays are Christmas Eve/Day (24th or 25th Dec) and New Year’s Day 1st January. While the most expensive days to fly this year will be on Saturday and Sunday before Christmas 22-23rd December.
The Sunday before New Years meaning 30th December is also one of the most expensive days to fly on.
Mid-priced days are the Thursday after Christmas and New Year’s  27th Dec and 3rd Jan. Also the 29th Dec and 5th January which are the Saturday after Christmas and New Years are to be regarded as mid-priced days.

Finding cheaper tickets?

How amazing it might sound you still pay for comfort and if you plan your travels with a connecting flight as oppose to a direct flight you can save about 15-20% as direct flights always are more expensive. This does however vary on different routes and as comfort costs, always compare to be extra sure. Another trick is to fly from a major airport as they are in fact usually cheaper than smaller airports. The larger the hub is, the cheaper the flight will be.

Saving even more money on the ticket price?

As mentioned several times in this blog. Pack light. Count how many days you will be away and pack accordingly. Pack as if going for vacation with consideration to pack items that can be worn in several ways and combinations. This will save you both on check-in baggage fees and eventual carry-on baggage fees. Also you will hopefully manage to pack with you the christmas presents as well.
Weigh the bag/s before you head to the airport. Remember that this is a heavy holiday with lots of travellers and cues to be long. Having overweight check-in or carry-on WILL stress you out as it will cost you extra money and in worse case you have to start dumping clothes or things in the nearest trash can. A great way to start the holidays.

The photo was taken on a Hawaii flight in the 1970s

The photo was taken on a Hawaii flight in the 1970s

The flight scanner Skyscanner has conducted a survey of more than 700 international cabin crew members coming from 85 different countries regarding their passengers.

The work as a cabin crew member has since the start of aviation always been looked upon as a glamorous and desirable positions sometimes even with the high status of being a movie star in the sky. But as they are human beings just like passengers, they also get affected by regular habits and requests by the nearly 3 million people travelling through the skies every day. And it is understandable that some of them can after a while get under their skin.

As a tourist on vacation we usually relax and take things for granted not thinking that we actually are at another persons working place. We only come and leave before and after flight and during that whole flight we are their customers.

This is where a little consideration and courtesy can go a long way and make you a popular passenger among the crew.

So what are the top 10 most annoying habits of the passengers in the sky?

1.Clicking fingers to get your attention 26%
2.Leaving seat at the end before the seatbelt light goes off 13%
3.Stuffing too many bags into overhead locker 11%
4.Complaining there’s no space for their bag in the locker 10%
5.Talking through the safety demo 9%
6.Asking for more blankets/pillows   8%
7.Stuffing rubbish in the seat pocket 7%
8.Asking for a different meal 6%
9.Ringing the attendant bell to complain about temperature 6%
10.Asking for a specific brand of drink 4%