Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Travel expert's warning on booking budget air travel

An aviation expert is urging Australians to think twice before flying with budget airlines after an AirAsia X flight bound for Malaysia was forced to return to Perth due to an engine failure.
Passengers on the Sunday flight reported hearing a loud explosion before the Airbus A330 began to shudder, with some saying the pilot urged them to pray they would return safely.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed it was investigating "an engine malfunction" which caused "moderate airframe vibration".
Strategic Aviation Solutions chairman and aviation expert Neil Hansford said people must take responsibility for their own safety when flying and visit airline ratings websites before booking.
"Australians regrettably think with their pocket and not their head," Mr Hansford said.
"Because if you go to the trouble of working out whether a carrier's got a record or not you would look at AirAsia and you would say 'well why would I fly with that carrier who can't get seven stars?'

"If the difference in the fare was $200, is my life worth $200?"

Despite landing the plane safely, Mr Hansford said the alleged behaviour of the pilot sounded anything but professional.
"The pilot's responsibility is to make all of the passengers feel comfortable and let them know that he's in command," he said.
"Now in asking people to pray, that's almost saying that he's passing the responsibility to some other person that's not on the plane."
Mr Hansford also said the pilot should have considered diverting to Western Australia's Learmonth airbase, rather than returning to Perth.
A replacement plane flew stranded passengers to Kuala Lumpur late on Sunday night.

AirAsia passengers undeterred by drama

On Monday morning, other AirAsia ticket holders at Perth airport were preparing to make similar journeys, seemingly undeterred by Sunday's drama.
"It won't happen two days in a row will it? I hope not, but I'm a Catholic and I can pray," joked AirAsia passenger Joe Kenney.
In 2014, an AirAsia plane crashed during a flight between Indonesia and Singapore.
All 162 passengers and crew died.
The plane made 78 trips between Perth and Bali with a mechanical fault that was not fixed in the 12 months leading up to the tragedy.

AirAsia defends safety record

AirAsia X has issued a fresh statement about Sunday's incident, saying it was investigating the cause "together with our engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce" and was cooperating with aviation authorities.

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