How safe is that foreign airline?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Millions of Americans board flights on foreign airlines every year with little or no idea of how safe they will be, and the U.S. government provides no help telling them which ones may be risky to fly.

    In contrast, the European Union gives passengers a safety yardstick by listing foreign airlines — more than 270 of them from 20 nations — it has banned from flying into airports within the EU because it considers the airlines too unsafe.

    The U.S. government's aviation safety regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration, lists nations' civil aviation authorities that do not meet minimum international standards for safe flying and do not provide proper oversight of airlines based within their borders.

    Some consumer and aviation safety advocates say the U.S. government is not doing enough to protect and inform Americans who board foreign-based airliners without knowing of the increased risks.

    "I don't believe the average traveler traveling internationally has any idea about the safety, or lack thereof, of foreign air carriers," says passenger-rights advocate Kate Hanni, executive director of the U.S. group "Good, reliable data about foreign airlines and their countries' safety oversight is not publicly provided. If fliers knew the truth, they would likely not fly on many carriers."
    More than 20% of foreign civil aviation authorities evaluated by the FAA— or 22 of 103 countries assessed — don't meet minimum international safety standards and don't sufficiently oversee the airlines in their countries, the FAA says.

    The agency says its approach to alerting Americans about the safety of aviation overseas is best because it allows the U.S. government to deal with foreign governments, rather than individual airlines, to try to improve safety.

    It says foreign governments' civil aviation authorities are legally responsible for ensuring aviation safety and encouraging airlines' compliance with national aviation laws.
    The agency assesses foreign civil aviation authorities' ability to meet international safety standards through its International Aviation Safety Assessment Program.

    Consumer safety advocates say the program fails to provide useful safety information to travelers. The program is "very incomplete, potentially deceptive and only a starting point for travelers concerned about safety," says consumer advocate Paul Hudson, a member of the FAA's rule-making advisory committee.
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  2. RedTape
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    RedTape Silver Member

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    Are travellers willing to pay more to get more detailed information? The assessments of foreign aviation authorities doesn't come free. While FAA may have some jurisdiction to have some say about a foreign carrier that flies into and out of any US airport, what authority does it have to impose restrictions on a Merpati? Merpati doesn't come close to serving any US destination, nor do most airlines in Africa. Should FAA really be spending its resources so that John Doe, American who is traveling from Dacca to Delhi can have information on the safety of Biman??
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  3. General_Flyer
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    General_Flyer Gold Member

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    If you happen to be in Indonesia, here's my $0.02..

    Indonesian Airlines not to fly with:

    Merpati Nusantara Airlines
    Garuda Citilink

    Somewhat OK:

    Indonesia Air Asia
    Lion Airlines


    Sriwijaya Airlines
    Batavia Airlines

    Fine By My Standards:

    Mandala (Bankrupt but soon to be part of Tiger)
    Garuda Indonesia
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  4. Exiled in Express
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    Exiled in Express Gold Member

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    The EU list.

    Without knowing my regional Asian airlines it seems to be a blanket ban on a country's carriers based on a beef with their regulatory authority. Of the listed counties I think Philippines and Indonesia are the only that seem commercially viable to North America. Why regulate until it is needed?
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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Indeed. The EU list includes a fair number of countries that have lax oversight, but they do allow specific aircraft that are managed/maintained to a known confirmed higher standar4d. For example, IranAir does not have authority to use the ancient B474-SP but do have for soem of their aircraft. I recall reading about a number of these in the aviation press, although i do not pretend to understand just how the EU goes about the process of restrictions.

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