World’s first airlines to receive COVID-19 safety rating announced

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British Airways and Lufthansa were awarded as first with 4 stars

Amid the world trying to make travel coronavirus-free, it seems like airlines and airports have to work extra hard — even harder if they want to get a good safety rating. A review and ranking agency Skytrax has recently started certifying airlines with COVID-19 safety and hygiene stars.

As the world’s first, the agency rated British Airways and Lufthansa with four out of five stars. Both airlines have demonstrated a high standard of effectiveness and consistency in ensuring COVID-19 safety and hygiene measures.

Skytrax’s rating also considers potential customer risk and concern elements across the airport and onboard environment. BA’s airport standards are based on their operations at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 while for Lufthansa it is Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1. 

Aegean Airlines and easyJet are the latest airlines to receive Skytrax’s safety rating

easyJet and Aegean Airlines are the two latest airlines to receive their safety ratingseasyJet and Aegean Airlines are the two latest airlines to receive their safety ratings — easyJet Media Room

According to Skytrax’s website, the two latest airlines to receive a safety rating are Greece’s flag carrier Aegean Airlines and the UK’s low-cost airline easyJet. Both airlines have been awarded four stars.

The ratings have been given out also based on Aegean’s operations at Athens International Airport and easyJet’s operations at London Gatwick Airport.

The 5 stars of COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating explained

Skytrax has been auditing airlines since 1989. Thanks to their unique, specialist knowledge and experience, they are able to provide the newly introduced COVID-19 Safe Airlines assessment. The assessment is structured to award between three and five stars.

According to Skytrax’s website, a 5-star rating shows excellent airport processing standards and considers all practical elements of contactless technology, customer handling, and social distancing protocols for check-in, boarding, and arrival.

To obtain the highest rating, airline lounges are expected to meet a high standard of cleanliness, with measures facilitating social distancing and safe handling of food and drinks. An airline also has to reach a high level of onboard cleanliness and cabin presentation, for example by using new techniques such as UV sanitization and mass disinfectant treatments.

A 4-star rating — so far awarded to all the announced airlines — includes good quality processing standards with some elements of contactless technology, customer handling, and with reasonable measures for social distancing. 

The lowest 3-star rating reaches average levels of processing standards with few elements of contactless technology, customer handling, and social distancing. The cleanliness of airline lounges and cabin presentation are inconsistent and vary between flights.

“We see it as important to introduce reality and accuracy by providing COVID-19 airline safety ratings based on actual travel experience and assessment,” said Edward Plaisted of Skytrax.

“Airlines are in the midst of the most challenging time in their history, and encouraging customers back onto flights involves not only changes to PCR testing, quarantine and country travel policies, but also in being able to demonstrate the necessary level of assurance for their COVID-19 measures through independent and professional assessment.”

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