Airplane is known as one of the safest transport system on earth, but still many people are scare of taking flight today. If your hands are sweating or your heart beating faster just before take off or landing, you are probably one of this people. Depend where you are traveling this feelings can become more intense, especially if you have heard about the numerous tragic accident that the concerned region has been involved in.
The purpose of this article is not to make you more afraid of taking the plane, but just to inform you about the reality. And may be help you take the right decision when purchasing your flight ticket. Even a 100% way to travel safety doesn’t exist yet and will probably never do; we all want to put the balance in our favor. In some countries minimum precaution and full information seems to be required.
I love Indonesia. It is a wonderful country with more than ten thousand tropical islands, thousands of dialects and hundreds of interesting cultures. White sand and paradisiacal beaches, impenetrable rainforest and archipelago of active volcanoes make this territory one of the most wonderful countries in the world for backpackers. The wild life inside the sea as on the land are incredibly diversified and Indonesia count hundreds, if not thousands of species you won’t find anywhere else. Additionally, Indonesia has rich natural resources which provide food and premium material for this over populated country (more than 200 millions people).
What relation with airplane? I believe many people are reluctant to travel around Indonesia since the recent event. Or should I say events (with an “s”). Indeed, the last few years have been catastrophic in terms of Airplane Crash. Unfortunately, this wonderful country is governed by a vast majority of corrupted politician who have much better to do than controlling the airplane regulation. So of course, the big competitions among Airlines Company push each of them to reduce the charges at any cost. And very often starting by reduce the maintenance frequency of their planes or the used of old spare parts, etc.. This can be scary, but it is the true.
Obviously, the Indonesian Transport’s Ministry’s recently announced that they will probably drop three airlines to the lowest rating category. Those Airlines were Adam Air, Wings Air and Dirgantara Air. Basically, they separate the companies in three different category. The first category (category I) is considered as the “fully compliant” group. The companies in the last category (category III) will have three months to make improvement before having their licenses revoked. The middle category (category II) is for the companies which have met the minimal safety requirement but have not yet complied with a number of flight-related safety measures.
After checked the safety regulations of all the 20 passenger airlines, they come with the following results.
None of the airlines are completely complying with safety regulations. It means that none of the all Indonesia airlines companies are in the category I. The 13 companies in the category II are: Garuda Indonesia, Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, Wings Air, Indonesia AirAsia, Mandala Airlines, Pelita Air Service, Riau Airlines, Trigana Air Service and Travel Express Aviation Service. These airlines fall short on a smaller number of safety requirements. And for the bottom category III, we have: Batavia, Adam Air, Kartika Airlines, Trans Wisata Air, Jatayu Airlines and cargo jetliners Tri MG Intra Asia Airlines and Manunggal Air Service.
Some of the company airlines in the middle category proclaim to have no idea of the kind of criteria the government is using to rate the airlines. I have to admit that transparency has never been the strong point of this government. Some airlines promised they will make improvements. At least, this result has boosted the debate and obviously should improve the situation in the future.
Personally, I believe AirAsia, Garuda Indonesia or Merpati to be some of the safest, despite the tragic event’s of Garuda Indonesia last month. For AirAsia, it is actually not a local company as they are based in Malaysia, but they provide at least fifteen destinations in Indonesia. And the have some of the cheapest airline tickets available in Asia.
I hope this article does not take away your curiosity for traveling in Indonesia. As an expatriate for seven years in Jakarta, I recommend you to consider this destination for your next trip. Indonesia is still one of the rare country in the world where you can find such diversity of culture and panorama in the same place. Just follow the above advice about aircraft safety and don’t forget to check the article about Travel Insurance (see Blog : http://www.cheap-asia-travel.blogspot.com/). And everything should be fine. Good Luck and Nice Trip.