Thursday, 9 October 2008

Shocking AirAsia Safety Admissions










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Is AirAsia safe? We reveal their directors' candid reasons NOT to feel safe with their cavalier cut-price practices. Supported by their own words, we expose ludicrous cost cutting from hazardous directives to tight fisted maintenance; advantages gained by lax Malaysian regulations, exploited pilots who the CEO disrespects and flagrant corporate greed. You be the judge as you sit back and listen to AirAsia talk safety!









"Bo"



"One rule that hasn't changed, says Bo Lingam, AirAsia's director of operations, is "Cost is the enemy." The statistic that the airline's management obsesses over is its cost per available seat mile, an industry metric of how much an airline spends -- including everything from maintenance to marketing -- to fly one passenger one mile. AirAsia's C.A.S.M. is just 5 cents, lower than that of any other airline in the world, including Ryanair, which spends 7.6 cents."

Jeff Chu - Washington Post/Portfolio.com: Business Travel, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bo, we'd rather like the statistic that AirAsia.com Management obsesses about to be SAFETY. When doors start falling off Qantas planes there's something wrong in the industry. Yours is a cut-price no-frills cheapo outfit who think nothing about charging the disabled for a chair. While your CEO gets fatter on his US$300+ million fortune and McCarthy - down below - boasts lower wages, longer hours and less staff by the power of 4, then we'd suggest Air Asia have a particularly unhealthy obsession with cutting costs. Air Asia's Director of Operations doesn't instill confidence when he literally uses 'maintenance' as a parameter that Air Asia spend less money on than any other airline in the world ... followed by 'marketing' because we all know, we've all been misled by the cheap flight that isn't, or the flight cancellations that put your airline to shame.

In the comparative sampling from independent Flightstats.com, Air Asia are flying less than half the flights than Jetstar with its exemplary 99% record. Jetstar manages 4 cancellations and 3 excessively late flights. Wow - Air Asia 67 canceled flights! And 112 flights that span from 'late' to 'excessively late'. And you're operating 1/2 the flights, Bo! Is there something wrong with Air Asia's aircraft? Are they unable to find spare parts? Are their crew overworked and sleeping through their wake-up calls?



Air Asia .... Tiger ... Jetstar Asia




Historical Ontime Performance Ratings Jan 15, 2008 through Mar 15, 2008

www.flightstats.com



Good ol' Connor McCarthy gives us a huge wake up on that front next. Is the booking system malfunctioning? What's coming next? Charge passengers for Oxygen masks? Life jackets? Wheelchairs? No, YOU are the enemy with an attitude like you have. It isn't COST, not when KIDS climb aboard. If you don't have something intelligent to say, you shouldn't be in that job. What's worse, you are in that job.

A quick last note about Bo and indeed an absolutely startling swathe of Air Asia's logistics and admin staff - people who make you safe and comfortable - they are all former Warner Music employees. They are now charged with YOUR safety. Bo himself was a Promotions Manager. Indeed, if you check out pages 17-21 on the Air Asia annual report here, you will discover exactly what level of airline experience all the people behind the scenes actually have. We are putting our lives in the hands of ... a recording company??





"When you stuff equal parts kerosene and cargo into an aluminum tube and fly almost the speed of sound and navigate marginal weather and crowded airport areas for a living, smiling hostesses should be kept in perspective. Whats more important yet invisible to the traveler in 14B is the preparation and logistics involved in this complicated dance we call air travel.One should care more about how well are they taking care of the airplane than the passengers."

Brian Gonzalez , Conde Nast Portfolio.com, Air Asia - The $3 Flight, Nov '07









"Con"



"Connor McCarthy says AirAsia's operating secrets aren't so secret: a lot of small cuts on the cost side and a lot of incremental increases on the revenue side. A no-frills airline requires fewer staffers -- Singapore Airlines flies nearly the same number of passengers but has four times as many employees -- and Southeast Asia's labor costs are low. Regulations are more lax too; a Ryanair pilot can only fly 900 hours a year under European Union law, but AirAsia's crew can log 1,000."


Jeff Chu - Washington Post/Portfolio.com: Business Travel, Tuesday, October 23, 2007



What sort of person are you, talking so condescendingly about Asia and being flippant about MY safety? You pay pilots less than every other airline in the region and you brazenly admit to pushing them beyond internationally accepted limits in a region where regulations are already lax. Thanks for backing up our previous feature article about Air Asia safety and treating its pilots like indentured prostitutes here.

And Fernandes again caught in a lie [with leaked excerpts from the Air Asia pilots handbook beside his hollow words of Air Asia building a better tomorrow], when the fact is your pilots spend 15 years repaying you for their training. Just listen to your inconsiderate attitude. You were talking to a reporter when you were quoted here. You do understand that? What must your attitude be when the press aren't about?

Let's analyze your Public Relations skills in summing up Air Asia ... cheap labour costs ... 4-times less employees than Singapore Airlines [undoubtedly not as well educated and able to read hard stuff like log books and technical diagrams too, hey?] ... regulations being more lax [which Air Asia recognises and capitalise on without any regard to pilot or passenger]. Our safety is in the hands of those people you are relentlessly squeezing more hours out of - MORE than EVERY civilized aviation body deem ENOUGH.

Presumably they set that limit for a reason, no? Air Asia ground crew conduct 'pit-stop' turnarounds with 1/4 the manpower of an airline like Singapore Airlines or Qantas [both which devote due diligence to our safety and are ten times more thorough - and yet look at Qantas recently. Perhaps you contend Air Asia's maintenance standards are superior to Qantas and Singapore Airlines??]. Connor, you sat atop the most hated airline on earth in Ryanair, and YOU created that 'culture' The Economist wrote about:


Safety Report - Part #2 HERE










Pahamin and Fernandes brought your schlock mean spirited ass here to Asia and didn't you do stupendously well on the share allocation, hey? And you've done a good job of migrating all of those deplorable traits from the UK to Malaysia, with its lax legislation and bent politicial system. Thanks for sharing your attitude to our safety and that of your own staff. We've got a whole feature devoted to you, coming very soon.













"Tony"







Tony Fernandes: ""I know Malaysians very well," said Fernandes, a native of Malaysia. "If you put a fare low enough, they'll risk their lives," he said, as the crowd laughed."
 

Tony Fernandes - World Low Cost Airline Convention, thestar.com, 2009

 



Tony Fernandes: "My engineers talk to my pilots about how to fly the plane more efficiently, "We went from 80 landings per set of tyres to 180. We showed them how to brake on the runway, how to use the reverse thrust, how they should descend. We burn just 770 US gallons per hour of fuel. MAS, using a similar plane burns 1100 US gallons.


Vikram Khanna - Business Times Singapore - The no-frills CEO, 5th July 2003



Cost cutting is an obsession for Mr. Fernandes, who often oversees operations from AirAsia's tiny headquarters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport . He once suggested that pilots avoid using their brakes as long as possible upon landing. "Friction usually does the trick, so our brake pads and tires last a damn sight longer than most," he says.

Discount Airlines Proliferate - 20 July 2004 Source: The Wall Street Journal










AIR ASIA'S SAFETY RESPONSE!


Please read the following web mail. You will see the original posted at the bottom of this thread. By clicking the author's name you will be taken to the AirAsia blog - an IMPOSSIBILITY had the email not genuinely been from AirAsia. Finally, we have an official statement - and we thank you. While we find it amusing that their spokesperson has chosen to ignore the bulk of the charges we have leveled at AirAsia - they have discussed 'safety'. And also confirmed a good many of our assertions into the bargain. That said, it was a polite letter and we intend to publish it way up here, rather than way down there - as a courtesy. Of course, we will now make a posting on the AirAsia blog - and we will surely be afforded the same hospitality.









"You can approach us anytime for facts. Safety is our utmost priority when it comes to operating an aircraft. Sure, some pilots manage to do some crazy stuff on our flights, but they get their just punishments just as any other offender would when they do crazy stuff that affects others. We have systems up and running on the ground that is akin to a speed ticket. Of course, we can't apprehend pilots as they bash a plane, but we sure as heck will do that right afterwards. Plus, we will never release a plane until it's really safe to fly. Some planes had to be grounded for almost a year because of an incident, costing us millions of dollars in revenue. This is quite unfortunate, but I swear to god, as long as that plane is not fit to carry passengers, it won't. EVER. We make absolutely certain that the only damage inflicted on our flights come from incidents, not accidents. For each incident, we get to its root cause and get to work on killing it. For instance, a lot of Airbus320 hard landings around the world are caused by keeping power up at touchdown. Now, we keep tabs on anyone who does this, and as a result, we haven't had a hard landing since October last year. A lot more can be covered here, but I guess I can post on my own blog about more stuff on safety. Do pay us a visit to learn more!" 


Mero, AirAsia Spokesman via AirAsia Blog








That article goes on to say AirAsia turn planes around in 22 minutes at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, keeping them in the air 10 hours per day. Well, looking at a JUNE 21 leaked Air Asia report - here - where you have two planes out of commission because of DISASTROUS landings, is it any wonder? According to the Air Asia internal memo, "they [Pilot + Co] were both performing 4 sectors in the afternoon comprising of an international and domestic destination". "On the last landing at KUL, the weather was fine and the PIC was the PF. With consideration of the weather and fuel conservation, he elected to ..." The pilot smashed the arse of a huge jet into the ground so hard that it has grounded your plane. And how patronizing to your pilots, who you'd be nowhere without, purporting that your engineers virtually have to teach them how to fly a plane.








This video is an example of a TAILSTRIKE - a minor one from another airline. The Air Asia aircraft hit the ground so hard it was 'grounded' for months, by all accounts. Your other incident was a HARDLANDING. We probably needn't explain to the readers what that one means. Rumour has it that everything from the chassis to the fuselage are a buckled wreck. Consider the numerous discussions going on PPRune.com, a COMMERCIAL AIRLINE PILOTS' WEB PORTAL - they don't see how the aircraft isn't in pieces.

One pilot remarks:
"With a landing of over 4.25g I am pretty concerned as to how they manage the maintenance/repair of that plane. Anyone has the registration? If the maintenance guys didn't get it right, it's gonna come back and bite some unfortunate souls very badly in time to come."










For the benefit of our readers, that is video to example the hazards of a hard landing. 4.25 of G-force is for rollercoasters and wrecking balls, ok!!! Not a your shiny new Boeing which is SUPPOSED to descend with AirAsia.com's cargo in mind - PEOPLE! PASSENGERS! Get it? Slipped another one under the press' radar Fernandes. Stop your damned penny pinching - YOU ARE RICH. Next time people may die.

We think you are a sheister, so we will not accept your apology after the fact. What did your AirAsia.com memo say up above that had your pilot and engineer distracted ... "FUEL CONSERVATION". What are you pushing them to do? CONSERVE TIME! CONSERVE FUEL! CONSERVE TIRES! MORE HOURS!


While you screw them financially, compared to legitimate airlines [yes, you are illigitimate and we'd love to debate it on TV or in court], have them running FOUR sectors, dog tired and stressed about not using the bloody breaks so you can save money - what do you expect? Look at the three Air Asia directors gathered here, two of whom are disgustingly rich. Give a little back. And stop with the 'I don't play the politics' BS. You're half the company Air Asia MKI was, in spite of your partners; your debts are three times as big [maybe more, considering how forthcoming and honest you are]. You'll literally be lynched if a plane crashes.




We know quite a few pilots and that includes the poor bastards that you squeeze the life out of and then disrespect in a self aggrandizing interview, again promoting yourself as a 'roll up the sleeves' team player. It's clear what team you play for. As this is our sedition edition, let's see how you go without your pilots. You are sailing dangerously close to the wind bodoh boy. A word to the wise - your pilots are pretty damned fed up - maybe en masse they'd rather 'walk' than fly. You've had tail strikes. How about a pilots' strike? You better reach into that US$350+ million personal fortune afforded you by Malaysia's taxpayer and start to compensate each pilot in line with internationally accepted standards.











This is the story of Air Asia Flight FD3024 illustrated with the help of

Air Asia's ugly yet ironic FREE desktop design!!



From the Phuket Gazette:

“If we are not 100% ready, we will not take off,” said the Air Asia spokesperson. But they did!
After the initial takeoff, the plane landed back on the runway. After a short delay, the pilot attempted a second takeoff, only to be forced to land the aircraft again. AirAsia’s duty executive at PIA, told the Gazette, “The 6:15 pm flight from Phuket to Bangkok was forced to land twice yesterday.

"There was a technical problem, but the pilot was trying to get the passengers [to Bangkok] on time as our next flight was at 9:50 pm.” A passenger on the flight told a Gazette source, “I heard the sound of wind rushing and then the engines roar [shortly after takeoff] and thought something had happened, but the crew didn’t tell the passengers exactly what was happening.."



"There was a technical problem, but the pilot was trying to get the passengers [to Bangkok] on time as our next flight was at 9:50 pm.”


“We transferred some passengers to our next flight at 9:50 pm, but some of them did not want to fly that late, so we transferred their tickets to fly with another airline,” the spokesperson said. We rather think we would have switched airlines too! Flight FD3024 did eventually make it to Bangkok. Considering that there was obviously a problem, Fernandes' brow beating his crew had them scrambling to take off, whether the aircraft was willing to cooperate or not. What pressure he brings to bare is anyone's guess?






How's this for a ridiculous - and somewhat suspicious - turn of events. Just a few short weeks after revealing Air Asia's huge debt we mention in the article above, Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat wasn't serving them with a court order, he was awarding the ex-politicos with the entirely vacuous KLIAs 10th Anniversary 'Low-Cost Carrier of the Year'.

Wait one second! Don't Air Asia owe KLIA a hell of a lot of money? Remember, since 2002! Of course it had to go Malaysian - in spite of the more obvious choice being any other airline, anywhere. Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat must not have read this posting plainly showing that Air Asia is quite possibly one of the most inefficient airlines on the face of the planet. Hello? Indeed, should Air Asia actually be eligible to qualify? There is the matter of Air Asia not being a member of IATA - representing 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic. Safety is IATA’s number one priority, and IATA’s goal is to continually improve safety standards, notably through IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). Are regularly unscheduled delays and inexcusably frequent abortions indeed connected to safety? Fortunately, expectation & legislation is 'lax' compared to ... you know ... civilization.









6 comments:

putri-bali said...

it's a nice blog.... .Putri-bali

Mero said...

You can approach us anytime for facts. Safety is our utmost priority when it comes to operating an aircraft. Sure, some pilots manage to do some crazy stuff on our flights, but they get their just punishments just as any other offender would when they do crazy stuff that affects others. We have systems up and running on the ground that is akin to a speed ticket. Of course, we can't apprehend pilots as they bash a plane, but we sure as heck will do that right afterwards. Plus, we will never release a plane until it's really safe to fly. Some planes had to be grounded for almost a year because of an incident, costing us millions of dollars in revenue. This is quite unfortunate, but I swear to god, as long as that plane is not fit to carry passengers, it won't. EVER. We make absolutely certain that the only damage inflicted on our flights come from incidents, not accidents. For each incident, we get to its root cause and get to work on killing it. For instance, a lot of Airbus320 hard landings around the world are caused by keeping power up at touchdown. Now, we keep tabs on anyone who does this, and as a result, we haven't had a hard landing since October last year. A lot more can be covered here, but I guess I can post on my own blog about more stuff on safety. Do pay us a visit to learn more! =)

Lisa said...

Sorry guys...looks like a lot of effort has gone into this blog, but you have not swayed my decision to fly with Air Asia.
Provide me solid evidence of neglectful maintenence and past incidents and maybe I would be swayed. But when I can get flights from Aus to KL, to Manilla and to London (all return) for less than $1500 in this economical climate then I will be taking them. Poor service be damned. As long as the plane doesn't fall from the sky then I couldn't care less.

Judith said...

I was meant to fly with Air Asia from Abu Dhabi this July only they cancelled at the last minute. Having read your blog, thank God they did! Some of us surmise the reasons: too many really quality airlines already come from here with a far better record, Fernandes and Co found they weren't going to make bucks out of flying from the Middle East or maybe they would have been subjected to quality control they just couldn't match. Are they the only airline that refuses legitimate refunds yet publishes a table of fees for cancellations? When contacted they said this was only for sick passengers yet it says nothing of the sort anywhere on the website. I thought Gulf Air were shocking but this crew do not deserve to be in the skies even if that Aussie bird outs her wallet before her safety!

Anonymous said...

I am a Pilot and all aircraft from commercial to small pipers have problems. It what those problems are that count.

People want to pay less and "it never happens to them "in Asia life is cheap. I for one have a list of carriers that I wont use no matter what the cost , but like a cheap motor bike helmet safety does not have a price when things go wrong . If you dont value your life fly these micky mouse airlines but dont cry wolf when you are crippled and at best still alive after an accident, if you have the good fortune to still be able to think dont complain you have been warned

Asia cuts corners and I for one know how much they cut corners , they do not give a damn about saftey ..Never beleive they do ...money is king .. You play russian roulette with your life when they close the door .. but hey you saved some money like you did with that $10 dollar helmet.. I guess you have a ten dollar head . Well if you fly these cowboys you sure as hell have a ten dollar brain

Anonymous said...

Air Asia will reu the day he moves his business to Indonesia. Indonesia like the Philippines is a country that has an unenviable track record for aviatio. SO much so that the EU has banned the national flag carrier off the Phillipines and only recently has the EU allowed Garuda (under some very strict supervision) to fly into Europe.

You know the old saying, you lie with dogs you get fleas.