AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines: safe to travel?

One  way good about living in Hong Kong that it is a travel hub and has a reasonably good selection of airlines; major and budget one that you can take within the region or worldwide. But what has happened in the year 2014? Why all these fatal accidents? Why all related to Malaysia?

One Chinese friend tells me, it is because of the year of the Horse, it is not good luck for the horse, therefore not good for Malaysia because in Chinese, the first character for Malaysia is the same character used for Horse. According to my friend, it should be safe to travel on Malaysia Airlines or other Malaysian airlines after the year of the Horse.  Ok, if this is true, then the solution is easy, don’t go on MAS or AirAsia until Chinese New Year and all will be good.

So are all these aviation tragedies to do with one Chinese character? Should I look for other sources of information to bring light to these concidentally all related to “Malaysia” aviation tragedies?  Thanks to the internet, an idiotic and curious cat like me, can google everything and find out something ( verified and not verified).

From the news/internet , I gathered the following information on the Air Asia accident.

1. Due to bad weather conditions, the pilot requested an alternative

2. There was a 2 minute delay in responding to the request and the request was denied by the Indonesian Control Tower.

3. After this, contact with the AirAsia airplane was lost. 

So what does all these mean. One news report from TV stated that the Airasia plane was flying too slow to reach the steep it requested and in fact, that the plane was flying too  slow compared to normal speed at its distance and height.

Now after numerous investigations, it seems there is some consensus that weather was the triggering factor for the Air Asia crash. Was the weather conditions so unique that this accident was deemed unavoidable and it is fate that this tragedy happened as the ‘162 people were merely at the wrong place at the wrong time. It would be easier to accept this kind of “fate” argument, if AirAsia ‘s flight QZ8501 from Surubaya was indeed permitted to fly at the place and the time it did. The most astonishing thing I find after this recent aviation industry saga is that AirAsia as a reputable budgt airline which has been awarded World’s Best Low-Cost Airline 5 years in the running ( including 2014) is exposed to flying without permission from Surubaya airport on the day of the accidents. How can a company of such repute engage in such non -compliance? What other non -compliant practices could be there?

Out of curiousity, I searched the recruitment policy of first officers on the internet to compare to other airline’s expectation of a first officer compared to Air Asia. Air Asia’s website under “Careers” did not specify minimum flying hours to apply, but if you compare to RyanAir, the minimun requirement is 3500 total flying hours; or Tiger air with a minimum of 1000 flying hours. With the fast development of air travel in the Asian region, are we placing residents in Hong Kong /Asia at risk by not imposing more stringent industry standards?

After the Flight QZ8501 accident, a series of unfortunate events seems to come to light with AirAsia, overshooting the runway at Kalibo Airport, tyre problems on its Perth flight and Air Asia Zest flight. Perhaps the company has finally wakened up to take better precautions.

I doubt, I doubt. I have one Airasia ticket on hand, and as I doubt, I booked an alternative flight at a much higher cost, because life is not on a budget.  Happy new year everyone and safe travel.