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    Call me a nervous Nelly but I like the idea of feeling safe on an airplane. I have my favourite carriers. And when forced to fly an airline I don’t know I do a little background research.

    I’ll typically fly the carrier I know better even if it’s at a slightly higher cost. But here are some other useful sites to help you choose your carrier when in foreign lands.

    Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubana_de_Aviación

    Take a look at the information at the bottom regarding the fleet.

    Airline ratings: https://www.airlineratings.com/safety-rating-criteria/

    I do look up the airlines safety ratings. And take a look at the last star regarding operation of Russian built aircraft. Cubana looks to hold 1 ATR aircraft. I think the rest are Russian?

    You can use google flights to check other airlines on the route by just typing in your departure and arrival destinations.


    It’s by no means a fool proof system but it can certainly help me choose between unknown airlines. Alternatively I could take ground or sea transport. I weigh a number of factors up like travel time comparison, cost, time of day, safety records (some countries have awful road as well as air safety records) but I feel like I’m at least making an informed decision. And most of the time things go fine. But if I think there will potentially be an issue then I’ll make up plan B.


    There are other things that come into play – maybe crew fatigue is an issue because of the way the airline treats them eg I think Emirates have had a reasonable exodus of cabin crew / pilots lately it seems meaning some of their planes are parked up. There was something that showed up regarding the new Qantas PER-LHR flights and tired crew mainly related to turnaround time. I won’t always have access to information regarding the crew, pilot training, or airline maintenance to help me make decisions. A friend of a friend suggested aviation herald http://avherald.com which was interesting reading however the number of incidents that occurred made me nervous so I stopped reading it. I think it’s because I don’t know the significance of events and whether they’re just something that happens or something more serious eg go arounds can be a bit freaky but for pilots are just another day at the office. I figure the more serious events make the news.


    Topic inspired by recent events, the Cuban and Iran crashes 🙁





    “Edit”…hint hint!


    The time of day relates to taking a day flight so if anything does go wrong it’s easier for search and rescue to find than following a night flight. OTT I know but hey I’m trying to minimise risk!

    Doesn’t stop me travelling though 🙂

    Steve Biddle

    Emirates are also cutting back crews (4 to 3 on some long haul flights) and expecting crews to work on the limits of their hours.

    It’s then a vicious circle with the problem then getting worse because pilots are then leaving because they’re being pushed to the limits.


    Paul Spain

    Knowing that travelling by plane is lower risk than driving somewhere I don’t usually focus too much on airline safety. And I read 2017 was the safest year to fly in history (44 deaths).

    In my younger years I flew with some airlines with not so strong reputations for safety – such as Aeroflot (a flight to Moscow) and Garuda Indonesia.


    Emirates are also cutting back crews (4 to 3 on some long haul flights) and expecting crews to work on the limits of their hours. It’s then a vicious circle with the problem then getting worse because pilots are then leaving because they’re being pushed to the limits.

    I did read about that and have made a mental note.

    Knowing that travelling by plane is lower risk than driving somewhere I don’t usually focus too much on airline safety. And I read 2017 was the safest year to fly in history (44 deaths). In my younger years I flew with some airlines with not so strong reputations for safety – such as Aeroflot (a flight to Moscow) and Garuda Indonesia.

    When I first started flying I just flew price and time. I didn’t know or care about the airline. But there are some experiences that make you think ‘maybe I should look into things a bit more’. Problem is without inside info your research is limited to the internet on which there is both good and bad info.

    I’ve heard the generalised statement about plane crash vs car crash and I agree that my chances of getting into a plane crash is far less likely than my chances of getting into a car crash. Heck there’s probably a fender bender most days if not every day in Auckland!

    But you need to break that down a bit. From what I’ve gleaned about safety it comes down to 1) pilots and training, 2) maintenance of the aircraft, 3) probably age of the aircraft,  4) possibly culture at the airline, 5) my perception / experience / etc (maybe others but that’s all I can think of right now)

    I’m not sure I’ll have access to info about 1 and 2. If you read some accident reports you can get a bit of an idea though. Air Asia that went down in the Java? sea. Plane had known maintenance issue, not fixed for 12? months. (Far too long – how many maintenance people or pilots saw it and ignored that?), and the pilot I think tried to override some alert signal or get around the issue.  Combined maybe with a bit of bad weather which in isolation wasn’t an issue but combined with pilots poor decision and maintenance aircraft the plane went down. That scares the living crap out of me. I haven’t reread the article and am too lazy to go and look it up again but that is sort of the guts of what I took away from it. I’ve looked at you tube as well as there are some interesting documentaries and one guy said if it was his only choice then if he had to fly he would fly during the day, not night. This makes sense to me, it must be so tough to undertake a search and rescue operation when it’s dark vs when it’s light. Not that I’m expecting to survive but hey if it’s an emergency landing then I think my chances are increased by a daylight operation rather than night time. Wasn’t there something about some that died from Asiana? at San Francisco possibly due to the rescue trucks running them over? I haven’t gone back to check that but from memory I thought there was some mention or concern.

    I’ve since learned there are different branches to Air Asia and Air Asia X and I don’t have them all straight in my head.

    3) I just discovered you can look at air fleet to find the age of the aircraft or fleet.

    4) I trust the Japanese and I trust Singaporeans. Look at their cultures. I find it difficult to believe they would short cut maintenance on aircraft to a degree where it would impact upon my safety. Look at the way SQ handled the 2000 incident. I think it was a wide body aircraft that taxied onto a closed runway and tried to take off. From memory that plane had different/cool livery which was subsequently banned after the accident even from model planes.

    I get a bit wary when I’m in a country that struggles with the basics of looking after its own people eg food, medical care etc. At the same time it’s thoroughly enlightening meeting people (our guide) that have never even seen a real plane. But then you stay with them and they have access to you tube and can share in the excitement. It puts a lot of things into perspective. Anyway, it generates concerns for me about the aircraft/carrier I fly.

    So, to get back to the statement flying is safer than cars:

    What if it’s an old plane that may have been well maintained under it’s prior airline, but under the new operators short cuts are taken leading to poorly trained staff, maintenance, and throw in a night flight? I am concerned my chances are higher on such an aircraft with an unknown airline.

    Or, I could hire the driver via a well established professional company?

    Although aircraft accidents are less common, my chances of surviving a plane falling out of the sky are significantly less than surviving a fender bender in Auckland or even a crash at a speed of 50kph. Might end up with a broken bone, some bruising but with seat belts, air bags etc I’ve got a good chance of surviving and going on to recover to live a similar quality of life pre accident. I think if it’s an emergency landing and the pilot still has some control over the plane I’ve also got a reasonable chance of surviving that.

    Drive or fly? I’m leaning towards driving when faced with what I consider to be a dodgy airline/aircraft history. Which is why my partners preference to fly in Cambodia has created a bit of angst for me. He doesn’t read the things I do. I still need to do some more homework before I make a decision. And that decision will be final 😛

    I know it sounds a bit OTT but after you’ve been scared by a flight experience you really do start digging a little deeper and it’s reasonably interesting the things you uncover. I narrowed myself to airlines I perceived to be safer than others and to be honest didn’t do all of the homework behind it. But the information I’ve been able to find certainly helped me select certain airlines for flights and made me feel a lot calmer when flying. To be honest it’s the long haul carriers I am picky about the most. The short haul I can probably talk myself through a fair amount of crap nervousness on an airline I’m unsure about. But I don’t enjoy the experience one bit!!

    I’ll fly Scoot, they have new aircraft although I’m not sure what to make of it with the Tiger merger (yet to really think about it but I trust SQ), Silk air is a subsidiary (or whatever the technical term is) of SQ.

    Jetstar is linked to Qantas which has a strong safety record although I’ve heard snippets about previous maintenance so now I wonder if they’ve just been ‘lucky’ with their record. I’ve yet to do further reading but I’m ok flying them.

    Norwegian I’m eye balling. No need to fly them currently but there might come a day especially with LGW – SIN opening up. I’ve not looked into their background. But it’s likely I will.

    Then there is Air NZ with it’s distant history. But I seem to trust them a lot. Young fleet, personal experience is great. Pilot brief communication is better than some other airlines. It’s brief but I find it reassuring.

    (Funny story about when a pilot omitted to tell us about our Wellington arrival on the Beech aircraft and I had already looked at weather, was looking for some reassurance because he said flight up was good, and I noted his omission and was like “What about Wellington?!?!” He didn’t say anything, just shook his head from side to side and disappeared back into the cockpit – Ha! I knew it was going to be crap so I braced myself for it mentally. I knew what weather was at departing and arrival airport (thanks google), but didn’t know what weather was like between airports during the journey but was hopeful when they said flight up would be good!).

    I’ve read snippets of NZ maintenance but not really looked into it much. The things I’ve discovered about flying have only grown over time so what I look at now and the way I think is very different from how I used to fly, book flights and consequently affects how I think and approach the process now.

    Anyway, I know there are other nervous flyers. I’ve sat next to them! But I was hoping the info might help them. Not sure if they’re reading though. Easy jet looked into this. Not sure if Air NZ did and has found out if they’re missing out on untapped revenue which was the driving factor I think for Easy Jet to provide a course for nervous flyers and get them in the air. I’m not as bad as those flyers though so haven’t looked into whether any courses in NZ exist.



    Really need to do something about extending the editing on this site as I can’t edit something up there and I swear it’s been seconds! Was going to say, not sure if Asiana was a day or night crash.

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