An annual survey conducted to assess the safety records of the world's biggest airlines has revealed those airlines with the worst safety records.
AirlineRatings.com examined audits from aviation governing bodies and lead associations, as well as government audits and fatality records for each airline.
Worst airports in the world, according to pilots
The airlines' operational histories, incident records and operational excellence were also taken into consideration while conducting the survey.
Safety ratings were then provided for 407 airlines, with up to seven stars being awarded. Of those, 148 were given the top rating, while almost 50 had just three stars or less.
The world's 10 best airlines for food
Meanwhile, there were 10 airlines, all from Nepal, Indonesia or Surinam, which qualified for just one or zero stars for 2016:
1) Batik Air
2) Bluewing Airlines
4) Kal-Star Aviation
5) Lion Air
6) Sriwijaya Air
8) Trigana Air Service
9) Wings Air
10) Xpress Air
The announcement follows a troubling year for aviation which includes two significant disasters, both of which have sparked debate over issues of security and concerns over pilot's well-being.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that for the second year running, the main cause of aviation deaths in 2015 was "unlawful interference" - in other words, murder - according to a report by leading air safety firm T070.
These are the world’s safest airlines
Further, the consultancy cited the still unsolved disappearance of MH370 and MH17 which was shot down over Ukraine in 2015, as well as the Germanwings and Metrojet crashes in the Alps and Sinai respectively.
In March 2015, a Germanwings Airbus A320-211 crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. Investigations later revealed that pilot Andreas Lubitz had deliberately caused the crash which was attributed to his suicidal tendencies.
The survey, however, has come under question by aviation-safety specialists as it does not appear to prioritise what many passengers regard as the most significant safety consideration - an airline's track record of flying thousands of flights with no loss of life.
For example, the two leading European budget airlines, easyJet and Ryanair, have fatality-free records and flew between them, around 180m passengers in 2015.
Malaysia Airlines on the other hand was faced with two incidents in which all passengers on board were left dead or missing in 2014. However, the airline was given five stars out of a possible seven in the ratings system.
Debris reaches Australia for MH370 analysis
Should an airline crash and cause the death of a passenger and/or crew members, it will automatically lose a star from its safety-rating rankings.
Iraqi Airways was last month banned from operating in EU airspace, due to "unaddressed safety concerns", and has been awarded two-star safety rating by AirlineRatings.com.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s aviation industry was placed under "special measures" in 2015 following issues flagged by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Carriers including Thai Airways, which was awarded four out of seven stars for safety, were spared being placed on the EU blacklist.
This article originally appeared on Independent.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ