As I write this blog, there are just under 14,000 aircraft in flight in the world, at least according to, which is both fascinating and terrifying to look at. (Try it. You’ll see.)

Perhaps more terrifying? Not all of those aircraft are considered safe by the United States government. Perhaps they were made by a manufacturer that doesn’t adhere to certain safety codes. Maybe they are owned by airlines located in countries that lack law or regulations to oversee airlines and mandate inspections, training, record keeping, and more. Maybe they are operated by airlines that haven’t passed International Air Transport Association standards, or EU Air Safety standards.

In general, the aviation industry and its regulators and customers use three lists to determine if an airline is safe to fly or not. One looks at the country of oversight and two look at the airline itself.

The FAA IASA Cat 2

A Category 2 International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) country rating means that the country lacks either law or regulation necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority – a body equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters – is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, or inspection procedures.

EU Air Safety Carrier List

The EU Air Safety List consists of two categories.  One includes all airlines banned from operating in Europe. The other includes airlines that are restricted from operating under certain conditions in Europe.

Non-IATA Operational Safety Audit

The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program is an internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operation management and control system of an airline to promote global safety.

Are there airplanes out there you’d rather not be on? Yes.


You shouldn’t be.

WorldQC™, World Travel, Inc.’s proprietary Quality Control system, has got your back. At the behest of our World Travel, Inc. Client Advisory Board, our Business Solutions team hit the drawing board and mapped out a plan to program WorldQC™ to audit all bookings for what we call Questionable Carriers and Countries.


Now, every itinerary’s booked airline and destination country/countries are audited by the content of those three lists. If any portion of the itinerary is considered unsafe, an alert can be triggered to the travel manager or designated contact, including details about which portion of a traveler’s itinerary has been flagged and why.

The auditing lists are maintained by our Business Solutions department, and are updated quarterly after a full review of the content of The FAA IASA Cat 2 list, the EU Air Safety Carrier list, and the Non-IATA Operational Safety Audit list.  If a list is updated (as the FAA IASA Cat 2 list was on Monday, when the Federal Aviation Administration announced that Indonesia was cleared for a top-tier air-safety rating), so is our WorldQC™ process.

It’s just one more way that World Travel, Inc. helps support your Duty of Care responsibilities.

Chesley Turner

Written by Chesley Turner