National carrier Air India today termed as "questionable" a report released by a German aviation think-tank ranking it as the third worst airline among 60 global carriers in terms of safety.
"The ratings arrived at by the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) is questionable considering that airlines like American Airlines, Aeroflot, US Airways etc which have a worse track record of hull-losses as well as fatalities, are rated safer than Air India," the state-run airline said in a statement.
Air India has been rated the world's third least safe airline among 60 global carriers after China Airlines and TAM Airlines by Hamburg-based JACDEC that monitors plane crashes around the world.
The annual safety ranking "is strongly refuted", the statement said, adding the data utilised by the agency for arriving at the rankings "is factually incorrect".
"The agency has quoted three hull-losses against Air India in the last 30 years. However, Air India has had only one crash on June 1985, resulting in hull loss and 329 deaths.
This crash was a result of terrorist action rather than poor safety," the airline said.
Other than this crash, Air India has had an excellent safety track record during the period considered by JACDEC, it added.
Air India is the first airline in the country and among the first 10 in the world to have the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) certification which is a benchmark for aviation safety norms, the airline noted.
The airline's engineering department is FAA and EASA- certified and one of the strengths of Air India is its adherence to all safety norms and procedures, the statement said adding the domestic aviation regulator, DGCA, maintains a strict surveillance besides monitoring of all operators in India.